A few priests are packing their bags and preparing to begin new assignments in the Catholic Diocese of Marquette, while others are receiving their first appointment, and one priest is retiring. Most of the clergy changes and appointments announced by Bishop John F. Doerfler take effect on July 1.
Father Daniel Zaloga, 75, is being relieved as pastor of St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish in Iron Mountain, granted senior priest status and released to join the Companions of Christ the Lamb in Paradise. A native of Detroit, Fr. Zaloga was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Marquette on June 3, 1967 by Bishop Thomas Noa. During his 48 years of priesthood, he has served the following parishes and missions: St. Francis de Sales in Manistique, St. Ignatius Loyola in Houghton, St. Gregory in Newberry, Our Lady of Victory in Paradise, St. Edward in Alpha, St. Mary in Amasa, Holy Name of Mary in Sault Ste. Marie, Guardian Angels in Crystal Falls, and St. Rose in Channing. Fr. Zaloga has been the pastor of St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish in Iron Mountain for the last 19 years.
In addition, he served on the faculty of Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich. for several years. Other posts he has held include Catholic Chaplain at Newberry State Hospital, Auxiliary Chaplain at the radar base in Sault Ste. Marie, Ordinary Confessor to the Carmelite Monastery in Iron Mountain, Port Chaplain for the Apostleship of the Sea at Sault Ste. Marie, and Faithful Friar for Northern District #5 of the Knights of Columbus.
Father Janusz Romanek, 39, will succeed Fr. Zaloga as pastor of St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish in Iron Mountain. He is being relieved as pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Goetzville, Our Lady of the Snows Mission in Hessel, Sacred Heart Parish in DeTour Village and St. Florence Mission on Drummond Island. He will also relinquish his position as Vicar Forane of the Holy Name of Mary Vicariate.
This is actually a return trip for Fr. Romanek to St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish, where he served a five-month stint as associate pastor in 2010. In the past, he has been the associate pastor at the following parishes: St. Rose in Channing, Sacred Heart in L’Anse, St. Ann in Baraga, The Most Holy Name of Jesus-St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Assinins, and St. Anne in Escanaba. Fr. Romanek was ordained a priest on June 8, 2007 by Bishop Alexander Sample after coming to the U.S. from Poland to attend Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
An official clergy appointment to the parishes and missions in Goetzville, Hessel, DeTour and Drummond Island will be forthcoming.
Father Jeffrey Kurtz, 57, is being relieved as pastor of Guardian Angels Parish in Crystal Falls and placed on long term health leave.
Father Jose Maramattam, 61, will take over as administrator of Guardian Angels and will leave his post as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Sault Ste. Marie. Prior to his move to the Soo, Fr. Maramattam served as pastor of Holy Family Parish in Gladstone. A native of India, Fr. Maramattam was ordained a priest on February 2, 1980 for the Diocese of Kanjirapally in Kerala. While in India, he served as an assistant pastor of two parishes and then a pastor of eight parishes. After coming to the Diocese of Marquette in 2005, he served as associate pastor of St. Anne Parish in Escanaba, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bark River and St. John Neumann Parish in Hermansville and Spalding.
Father Michael Chenier, 33, is being assigned to his first pastorate. He will succeed Fr. Maramattam as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Sault Ste. Marie. Fr. Chenier is currently serving as associate pastor of St. Michael Parish in Marquette and sacramental minister of St. Christopher Parish, also in Marquette. A native of Flat Rock, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 2009 by Bishop Sample. Other parishes and missions he has served include St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette and St. Mary in Big Bay, as well as Holy Spirit, Resurrection and Holy Redeemer in Menominee.
One of the priests ordained by Bishop John Doerfler on May 29 of this year, Father Brandon Oman, 33, will be the new associate pastor of St. Michael Parish in Marquette. He will also serve as sacramental minister of St. Christopher Parish. Fr. Oman is originally from Ralph.
Father Francis Ricca, 64, has been assigned as pastor of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in St. Ignace and Immaculate Conception Parish in Moran and administrator of St. Anne Parish on Mackinac Island. He will take over from Father Frank Lenz, who was appointed temporary administrator of those three faith communities at the end of April when Father Pawel Mecwel went on a leave of absence.
Fr. Ricca lived in the Copper Country most of his life and was ordained to the priesthood when he was 55 years old. Bishop James Garland ordained Fr. Ricca on December 16, 2005. His first appointment as associate pastor was at Resurrection Parish in Hancock and St. Francis of Assisi Mission in Dollar Bay. From there, he went to the parishes of Resurrection and Holy Spirit in Menominee, followed by St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. His first pastorate was at Holy Rosary Parish in Grand Marais, St. Gregory Parish in Newberry and St. Stephen Mission in Naubinway. His stint at Grand Marais only lasted a few months, but he has been the pastor of St. Gregory, St. Stephen and Our Lady of Victory Mission in Paradise since 2008.
Taking over as pastor of the parishes and missions in Newberry, Naubinway and Paradise will be Father Martin Flynn, 48. This will be his first pastorate. He will be leaving his position as associate pastor of St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette and St. Mary Mission in Big Bay. Fr. Flynn was ordained a priest at the age of 46 on December 14, 2012 by Bishop Sample. He was then appointed associate pastor of Holy Spirit Parish and Resurrection Parish in Menominee, before being assigned as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lake Linden. Fr. Flynn was born in Marshall, Mich., but lived in the Upper Peninsula most of his life, having resided in Gulliver, Steuben and the Manistique area.
Father Timothy Ferguson, 47, has been appointed associate pastor of St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette and St. Mary Mission in Big Bay. This is his first assignment after being ordained to the priesthood on May 29 by Bishop Doerfler. Fr. Ferguson is originally from Saginaw.
Father Bradley Sjoquist, 28, will soon begin his first appointment in the diocese after being ordained a priest last month. A native of Kingsford, he will be going to Menominee as associate pastor of Holy Spirit Parish and Resurrection Parish.
The current associate pastor of those two Menominee parishes, Father Ryan Ford, 31, is being sent to study for a Licentiate Degree in the New Evangelization and to serve on the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit for a period of three years. Fr. Ford was ordained a priest on June 3, 2011 by Bishop Sample. He has been in Menominee for nearly two years and served as associate pastor of St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette and St. Mary Mission in Big Bay for two years before that. He is a native of Gladstone. Fr. Ford’s new assignment will begin on Aug. 3.
In addition to the three priests ordained last month, Bishop Doerfler ordained two transitional deacons. Since his ordination, Deacon Jernej Šuštar has been serving in St. Gregory Parish in Newberry, Our Lady of Victory Mission in Paradise and St. Stephen Mission in Naubinway with Father Francis Ricca. His deacon internship will conclude on June 22. Deacon Aaron Nowicki is currently serving his deacon internship in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bark River and St. Joseph Mission in Foster City with Father Darryl Pepin. His internship will last through August 19.