Bishop appoints 15 priests to serve as deans

Bishop Barry C. Knestout, center, greets the priests he recently appointed as deans in the Diocese of Richmond. The priests were at the Pastoral Center, Tuesday, Sept. 14, for training in their new roles. (Catholic Virginian photo/Stephen Previtera)

Bishop Barry C. Knestout has appointed 15 priests to serve as deans in the Diocese of Richmond, effective Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. They will serve until Sunday, June 30, 2024. The priests and the parishes in each of their deaneries:

Deanery 1

Father Sean Prince, pastor, St. Pius X, Norfolk

Parishes: Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk; Blessed Sacrament, Norfolk; Christ the King, Norfolk; Holy Trinity, Norfolk; Sacred Heart, Norfolk; St. Andrew the Apostle, Chincoteague; St. Charles, Cape Charles; St. Matthew, Virginia Beach; St. Peter the Apostle, Onley; and St. Pius X, Norfolk.

Deanery 2

Father Esteban De Leon, pastor, Star of the Sea, Virginia Beach

Parishes: Anglican/Roman Catholic Community of Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach; Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach; Church of the Holy Family, Virginia Beach; Church of the Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach; St. Gregory the Great, Virginia Beach; St. John the Apostle, Virginia Beach; St. Luke, Virginia Beach; St. Nicholas, Virginia Beach; and Star of the Sea, Virginia Beach.

Deanery 3

Father Romeo Jazmin, pastor, Prince of Peace, Chesapeake

Parishes: Church of St. Therese, Chesapeake; Church of the Good Shepherd, Smithfield; Church of the Holy Angels, Portsmouth; Church of the Resurrection, Portsmouth; Prince of Peace, Chesapeake; St. Benedict, Chesapeake; St. Jude, Franklin; St. Mark, Virginia Beach; St. Mary, Chesapeake; St. Mary of the Presentation, Suffolk; St. Paul, Portsmouth; St. Stephen, Martyr, Chesapeake; and Shrine of the Infant of Prague, Wakefield.

Deanery 4

Father W. Daniel Beeman, pastor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News

Parishes: Immaculate Conception, Hampton; Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam, Norfolk; Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam, Hampton; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News; St. Jerome, Newport News; St. Joseph, Hampton; St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Tabb; St. Mary Star of the Sea, Fort Monroe; St. Rose of Lima & Korean Martyrs, Hampton; and St. Vincent de Paul, Newport News.

Deanery 5

Father Gerald Kaggwa, pastor, Church of the Visitation, Topping, and Church of Francis de Sales, Matthews

Parishes: Church of Francis de Sales, Mathews; Church of St. Therese, Gloucester; Church of the Visitation, Middlesex; Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, West Point; St. Bede, Williamsburg; St. Joan of Arc, Yorktown; and St. Olaf, Norge.

Deanery 6

Father Anthony Marques, rector, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond

Parishes: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond; Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville; Holy Rosary, Richmond; St. Elizabeth, Richmond; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Quinton; St. John, Highland Springs; St. Patrick, Richmond; St. Paul, Richmond; St. Peter, Richmond; and St. Timothy, Tappahannock.

Deanery 7

Father Michael Renninger, pastor, St. Mary, Richmond

Parishes: Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs, Richmond; Our Lady of Lourdes, Richmond; St. Ann, Ashland; St. Benedict, Richmond; St. Bridget, Richmond; St. Mary, Richmond; St. Mary of the Annunciation, Ladysmith; and St. Michael the Archangel, Glen Allen.

Deanery 8

Jesuit Father Shay Auerbach, pastor, Sacred Heart, Richmond

Parishes: Church of the Epiphany, Richmond; Good Samaritan, Amelia; Sacred Heart, Richmond; St. Edward the Confessor, Richmond; St. Gabriel, Chesterfield; St. John Neumann, Powhatan; St. Joseph, Richmond; and St. Kim Taegon, Richmond.

Deanery 9

Father Joseph Goldsmith, pastor, Sacred Heart, Prince George County; St. James, Hopewell; St. John, Dinwiddie

Parishes: Church of the Sacred Heart, Prince George; Good Shepherd, South Hill; St. Ann, Colonial Heights; St. Augustine, Richmond; St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville; St. James, Hopewell; St. John, Dinwiddie; St. Joseph, Petersburg; St. Paschal Baylon, South Boston; St. Peter the Apostle, Lake Gaston; and St. Richard, Emporia.

Deanery 10

Father Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi, pastor, Holy Comforter, Charlottesville

Parishes: Our Lady of the Rosary Mission, Crozet; Holy Comforter, Charlottesville; Immaculate Conception, Buckner; Incarnation, Charlottesville; St. Francis of Assisi, Amherst; St. George, Scottsville; St. Joseph’s Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, Columbia; St. Jude, Mineral; St. Mary, Lovingston; St. Thomas Aquinas, Charlottesville; and Sts. Peter and Paul, Palmyra.

Deanery 11

Father Rolo Castillo, pastor, St. John the Evangelist, Waynesboro

Parishes: Blessed Sacrament, Harrisonburg; Holy Infant, Elkton; St. Francis of Assisi, Staunton; St. John the Evangelist, Waynesboro; and Shepherd of the Hills, Quinque.

Deanery 12

Msgr. Patrick Golden, pastor, Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke

Parishes: Church of the Transfiguration, Fincastle; Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem; Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Andrew, Roanoke; St. Gerard, Roanoke; St. John the Evangelist, New Castle; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; St. Patrick, Lexington; and Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Springs.

Deanery 13

Father Charles Ssebalamu, pastor, St. Jude, Christiansburg

Parishes: All Saints, Floyd; Holy Family, Pearisburg; Holy Spirit, Christiansburg; Risen Lord, Stuart; St. Edward Mission, Pulaski; St. Joseph, Woodlawn; St. Jude, Radford; St. Mary, Blacksburg; and St. Mary the Mother of God, Wytheville.

Deanery 14

Father Francis Xavier Musolooza, pastor, Christ the King, Abingdon, and St. John, Marion

Parishes: Christ the King, Abingdon; Good Shepherd, Lebanon; Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Jonesville; Sacred Heart, Big Stone Gap; St. Anne, Bristol; St. Anthony, Norton; St. Bernard, Gate City; St. John, Marion; St. Joseph, Clintwood; St. Mary, Coeburn; St. Patrick, Dungannon; St. Therese, St. Paul; Church of St. Elizabeth of Holy Family Parish, Pocahontas; Church of St. Joseph of Holy Family Parish, Grundy; Church of St. Mary of Holy Family Parish, Richlands; and Church of St. Theresa of Holy Family Parish, Tazewell.

Deanery 15

Father Salvador Añonuevo, pastor, Holy Cross, Lynchburg

Parishes: Holy Cross, Lynchburg; Holy Name of Mary, Bedford; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Blackstone; Our Lady of Peace, Appomattox; Resurrection, Moneta; Sacred Heart, Meherrin; Sacred Heart, Danville; St. Francis of Assisi, Rocky Mount; St. Joseph, Martinsville; St. Theresa, Farmville; St. Thomas More, Lynchburg; and St. Victoria, Hurt.

The responsibilities of a dean are included in the Code of Canon Law and detailed in the Vatican Congregation for Bishops’ “Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops,” which states:

“The vicar forane (dean) holds an office of considerable pastoral importance: he is a close collaborator with the bishop in pastoral care of the faithful and an attentive ‘elder brother’ towards the priests of the deanery, especially those who are ill or in difficult situations.

“It falls to him to coordinate the common pastoral activity of the parishes, to see to it that priests are living lives in conformity with their state and that parochial discipline is duly observed, particularly with regard to the liturgy.”

The formal title for a dean is “Very Reverend.” When that title is used, the initials “V.F.” (vicar forane) follow his name.

When he established deaneries in the diocese in 2018, Bishop Knestout stated, “Through the leadership of the dean, I am confident that pastoral care for those on the peripheries found in places such as hospitals, prisons and nursing homes can be further enhanced through stronger coordination and support,” he said. “Furthermore, I will count on each dean to identify members of the lay faithful in their deanery who can consult on a variety of regional and diocesan priorities.”

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