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Bishop Loverde Appoints New Pastor, Six Administrators

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde announced this week the appointments of a new pastor, six administrators, a new vocations director and three new campus chaplains. All appointments are effective June 26, unless otherwise specified.

(Complete List of Changes) Msgr. James W. McMurtrie, who was founding pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn and served as diocesan administrator for one year following the death of Bishop John R. Keating in March 1998, has been appointed pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Arlington. He will be replaced in Ashburn by Father Richard M. Guest.

Father Robert E. Avella will move from pastor of St. Mary Parish in Alexandria back to Diocesan Director of Vocations, a position he held more than 20 years ago under Bishops Thomas J. Welsh and John R. Keating. He will be replaced at St. Mary by Father Dennis Kleinmann.

Father Curtis Clark will be leaving his post as vocations director to begin studies in canon law.

Father Brian G. Bashista has been appointed Promoter of Vocations, with residence at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Arlington.

Father Kevin Walsh, chaplain at Marymount University the past two years, has been named administrator at St. Philip Parish in Falls Church. He replaces Father Daniel Spychala, who has been assigned assistant chaplain at Fairfax Hospital, with residence at St. Ambrose Parish in Annandale.

Father Thomas P. Ferguson will be administrator at St. Bernadette Parish in Springfield, replacing Father John Hughes, who is retiring after 48 years of active service to the Church in Virginia.

Father Christopher Mould has been named administrator at St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria and Father Michael T. Orlowsky will be administrator at Our Lady of the Blue Ridge Parish in Madison, replacing Missionhurst Father John Morel, who is retiring.

Father Orlowsky will be the first diocesan priest to serve at the parish since 1947 when Missionhurst priests first started serving there.

According to canon law, a parish administrator has the same basic duties and obligations as a pastor, although they could be limited by the diocesan bishop. The administrator may not do anything which could prejudice the rights of the parish priest (pastor) or could do harm to parochial property (Canon 540).

In addition to the parish assignments, the bishop moved Father Jack Peterson from chaplain at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg to chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington. He will be in residence at the Youth Apostles Center in McLean.

Father Ronald S. Escalante will be the new Catholic chaplain at Mary Washington College.

Father Robert L. Ruskamp will be the new chaplain at Christendom College in Front Royal, taking over the assignment of Father David C. Rahn, who is on a medical leave of absence.

Bishop Loverde ordained four new priests for the diocese on June 8 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More. The newly ordained (and their first assignments) are: Father Bryan W. Belli, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Alexandria; Father Geronimo A. Magat, St. Mark Parish, Vienna; Father Keith M. O'Hare, Queen of Apostles Parish, Alexandria; and Father Michael D. Weston, St. Mary of Sorrows Parish, Fairfax Station.

Copyright 2002 Arlington Catholic Herald. All rights reserved.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2002