Monday, April 30, 2012


Probably one of the weirdest and coolest thing to experience as a newly ordained priest is the process of the moves. By the moves I am referring to when a priest receives his next assignment...his next parish.

What basically happens? Well, it all depends on the bishop. Basically, decisions are made as to who goes where. The bishop may have a group of consulters (normally priests) or just depends on his Bishop-ing style I suppose.

What is considered? Well, a lot is considered. The bishop has the WHOLE diocese to consider (that means he is thinking about all the parishes he is in charge of). He sees needs that not everyone sees. He knows how parishes are struggling and tries to assess what  kind of pastor can guide it accordingly; he looks at the region that he is in charge of and tries to assign priests to meet the needs of the people...Sometimes he may send a priest to allow a parish to grow in some way (and sometimes he'll send a priest to a parish so that THAT priest can grow in some way). He takes into account the gifts and talents of a priest and assigns him to where he can be the most efficient in ministry. He looks into the personalities of the priests and tries to make sure he can assign men that can work together. There are a lot of factors that go into moving priests around in a diocese. Not an easy task, that's for sure.

I remember growing up we would see a priest come and go. Our parish would even write a petition to the bishop to keep someone at a parish. Now, as a priest, I say to myself, "If I knew then what I know now, I would pray for the priest and his future parishioners. Maybe the next place needs him more than we do. The bishop sees something that I don't and with the help of the Holy Spirit he thinks it is best to take him away from us and place him somewhere else."

And so now...the RUMBLINGS are starting to take place. Priests are regular guys too, so naturally, they begin to talk. LOL! "Hey, I think I'm going to another parish" "Really? Who do you think is replacing you?" "Well, I think it's..." Priests are getting phone calls. The bishop, with the grace of the Spirit and the help his group of counselors, sees it fit to contact certain men to take them somewhere different for their ministry as priests.

And it is cool to be in the midst of that. The question is asked: Will you move, Fr Chris? I can't say yes and I can't say no. Every priest is subject to be moved. All we can do is wait to find out. There is no way of knowing until the official letter is received. Anything can change between now and then. ANYTHING can happen that can change the current plan. And so we all wait...we wait until all the men who are meant to move officially get a letter declaring when and where they go. And so until then, we wait, and the RUMBLINGS continue... :)


  1. I am telling God tonight that i do not like this. I have a feeling i alteady know his response.

  2. When one door closes, another one opens...

  3. No..!!Please don't leave us father Ortega,because of you being here in the most beautiful church in savannah,my family and I have gotten closer to the catholic church,We will be very sad.

    1. Woa woa woa...I never said I was leaving! Hahaha...I'm just saying that the process of the moves is starting! Relax Robin! :)

  4. Fr. Chris,
    I want you to know that we stand with you on whatever happens, as we know that the Bishop will do what he knows is best. But we will say to you, that you have brought a new light to the Cathedral, a light that has inspired us to grow closer to our Faith. We do pray that you will be allowed to stay here at the Catherdral for as long as possible, but that is our selfish wish. If you are called upon to move, then we will understand that it is God's will, but that doesn,t mean we wont miss you because we will!!!!! Just know that you are an inspiration to us. You have truley touched our lives in many ways.
    God Bless you. Fr. Chris. We love you......

  5. I wish they would send you to the diocese of Charleston! We were in Savannah this week on vacation and went to daily mass. Don't ever lose the sense of reverence and awe when celebrating. I can tell you have a very special grace and gift.

    -Bob Davies
    Conway, SC


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