July 7, 2003 – The territory's Roman Catholics will see a number of familiar faces in new places within the organizational structure of the St. Thomas Diocese, come Aug. 2. There also will be changes within the leadership of the church's social and educational outreach.
Bishop George V. Murry announced on Monday the following clergy appointments:
Monsignor Jerome Feudijo, currently rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, will become chancellor of the diocese. He also will continue to serve as administrator of St. Anne's Chapel in Frenchtown, St. Thomas.
Father Charles Crespo, now serving as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church in Kingshill on St. Croix and coordinator of Hispanic ministry on the island, will become pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on St. John. Among his tasks will be supervision of the construction of the new church building begun under the current pastor, Father Neil Scantlebury. Crespo also will continue to be editor-in-chief of The Catholic Islander, the monthly diocesan newspaper, and assistant director of communications for the diocese.
Father John Mark, now parochial vicar at Holy Family Church in Anna's Retreat on St. Thomas, will assume the same position at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. He also will continue as coordinator of Hispanic ministry on St. Thomas.
Father Neil Scantlebury, currently both chancellor of the diocese and pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will become rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. One his main tasks, according to The Catholic Islander, will be supervision of the cathedral restoration project recently begun under Feudijo's direction.
The Catholic Islander also reported that Father Michael Houston, parochial vicar at Holy Cross Church in Christiansted, will assume the duty of coordinating the Hispanic ministry on St. Croix.
A release from the diocese issued on Monday stated that Murry is currently in Rome, but quoted him as saying that "reassignments are part of the normal rhythm of the church. I am grateful to Father Crespo, Monsignor Feudijo, Father Mark and Father Scantlebury for their willingness to assume their new assignments."
Murry also announced that Michael "Mic" Akin has been named the new executive director of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands. Akin, who began work on July 1, succeeds Debra Brown-Roumo, who left in March to marry and move to the mainland to be with her husband. Akin worked with adult protective service programs on the mainland before moving 26 years ago to St. Thomas, where has worked in management within the hospitality industry. Catholic Charities is best known in the community for its work among the homeless, including the operation of the Bethlehem House facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix and soup kitchens on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
And within the parochial school system of the diocese, Murry announced the appointments of David Corey as superintendent of schools, Elizabeth Hering as administrator of St. Mary's School in Christiansted and Father Patrick Lynch as principal of St. Mary's.
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