Diocesan priest to serve at U.N.

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Father Christopher Pollard soon will leave the rural environs of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in Orange for New York City. He will be an attaché to Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

The Vatican's permanent observer represents the Holy See at the U.N. as a non-voting member. Non-voting, permanent observer status is a voluntary designation the Holy See chose to maintain absolute neutrality in various diplomatic and political issues. The Holy See represents the Vatican City State internationally at such venues as the Organization of American States and the European Community. The Holy See also maintains diplomatic relations with 177 countries.

Archbishop Migliore holds diplomatic rank as apostolic nuncio. Father Pollard will be one of five priests at the nunciature. Two are serving as attaché, each with a different function. He will be personal secretary to Archbishop Migliore.

Father Pollard attended public elementary schools in Annandale and Fairfax and graduated from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria in 1989. He was a National Merit Scholar at Bishop Ireton and received the Brent Youth Award in 1989.

Father Pollard received a bachelor's in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1992, and he holds a master's in catechetics from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and a licentiate in philosophy from Catholic University in Washington. Father Pollard earned a licentiate in sacred theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, while at the North American College.

After his ordination to the priesthood in 1998, his first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Mark Church in Vienna. In 2002, Father Pollard became parochial vicar of St. Agnes Church in Arlington. He became parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist in Front Royal in 2006 and the parochial administrator at St. Isidore the Farmer this year.

Father Pollard said it will be difficult leaving parish life, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

"I was just getting used to being in charge of a parish. I am getting more and more excited about the work that awaits me," he said.

Not hearing confessions or saying Mass for his own parishioners is going to be strange at first he said. It's also the first time since he was ordained that he won't have an RCIA program or confirmation class "to terrorize." But he hopes to continue many parish duties in New York.

"I anticipate finding a nearby parish where I will offer my daily Mass and make a Holy Hour. And if there is a pastor willing to let me hear confessions, all the better," said Father Pollard.

Father Pollard will assume his new duties in mid-October and hopes Our Lady of Fatima will take special care of him in his new role.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2009