Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has named the Rev. David Hoefler to be vicar general/moderator of the curia for the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, effective May 1. Rev. Hoefler succeeds Bishop-elect Carl Kemme who was named head of the Wichita Diocese on Feb. 20 and will be ordained a bishop there on May 1.
The appointment, made March 13, was among a number of announcements that included the appointment of a new diocesan chancellor and the director of a newly created Department of Communication and Information Services.
"As much as we will miss Bishop-elect Kemme when he departs for Wichita May 1, I am pleased that we have highly capable people to step into new leadership roles in our diocesan curia and in our parishes," Bishop Paprocki said.
In the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law, the vicar general is described as an immediate assistant to the diocesan bishop in the administration of the diocese. He is a sort of "alter ego" for the diocesan bishop in respect to governance of a diocese.
The curia is the name for all the diocesan offices and agencies, many of which are housed at the Catholic Pastoral Center in Springfield. The moderator of the curia coordinates the administrative affairs of the curia and assists other curial personnel in performing their services.
Rev. Hoefler, age 52, currently serves as dean of the Effingham Deanery and pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Effingham; Sacred Heart Parish, Effingham; and Annunciation Parish, Shumway. He was ordained May 25, 2002, and served at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield, first as parochial vicar (2002-2005), then as parochial administrator (2005-2006) and finally as pastor (2006-2011). He has been serving in his current assignments in Effingham since 2011.
In addition to serving as vicar general/moderator of the curia, the Rev. Hoefler will serve as chief operating officer of the diocese and chief strategist for pastoral planning for growth. He will oversee the Office for the Diaconate, Office for Vocations, Villa Maria Catholic Life Conference and Retreat Center, and the Commission for the Care of Infirm and Retired Priests. He will supervise the ongoing formation of clergy in the diocese; serve as liaison for prison ministries; and serve as chaplain to the Courage Apostolate in the diocese.
The Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is 130 parishes in 28 counties in central Illinois.
The Rev. Chris Brey will become the new paster of St. Anthony Parish, Effingham; Sacred Heart Parish, Effingham; and Annunciation Parish, Shumway, beginning May 1. He is currently pastor of the parishes in Beardstown, Arenzville, Ashland and Virginia. He also is Diocesan coordinator of Hispanic Ministry and dean of Jacksonville Deanery.
Brey will become dean of Effingham Deanery. He will have three parochial vicars. The Rev. Zachary Edgar will be chaplain at St. Anthony High School, the Rev. Ronald Hilt will live at Sacred Heart and the Rev. Michael Rosa will live at St. Anthony. The parochial vicars will begin July. 1.