| By Bishop Earl Boyea

Diocese of Lansing Realign Resources for Mission 2023

Dear Friend,

The Victimae paschali laudes is a great medieval text that is still proclaimed at every Mass on Easter Sunday. It is usually ascribed to an 11th century chaplain to the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Within its prose, the writer asks this of St. Mary Magdalene: “Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the way?” to which she replies:

“I saw the tomb of Christ

And the glory of his rising,

Angelic witnesses,

The head napkin, and the linen cloths.

Christ my hope is risen!

He will go before his own into Galilee.”

Even with the passing of a millennium, these words still inspire both shock and awe in our hearts: Christ our hope is risen! If true — and it is — this singular event changes everything forever. Hence, the command of Christ to the early Church that we also hear during our Easter Sunday Mass. 

“He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42)

It was with that is mind that I asked Father Mathias Thelen in 2019 to lead a 14-person committee — consisting of both clergy and laity — in prayerfully discerning how our diocese can best realign our resources — personnel, property, financial, material — in order to further the mission of forming communities of missionary disciples who go announce the Gospel of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Fittingly, this process was called Realign Resources for Mission.

At the end of a two-year process, the committee was able to provide me with a series of recommendations to help the 72 parishes of our diocese become more effective in our evangelistic mission. Those recommendations can probably be summed up in this one sentence:

“Healthy parishes in the Diocese of Lansing are led by priests striving for health and holiness, equip and empower parish staff, make and form missionary disciples and seek the lost and serve the poor.”  

Of course, a healthy presbyterate is not the sole factor in making this vision happen, but it is a sine qua non to revitalizing the local church in each area. 

Initially, it was thought this vision could best be facilitated through our priests operating a shared pastorate over a group of parishes. This is what Canon 543 of the Code of Canon Law refers to as in solidum. However, we soon received word that Rome will not allow priests in solidum to be pastors of individual parishes. 

What is more, our priests didn’t like the in solidum concept either, preferring, instead, to maintain the traditional link between a pastor and his people, between the shepherd and his flock. This was all good feedback and has been duly incorporated into the implementation of the Realign Resources for Mission vision, a process we’ve entitled Made for Mission.

Hence the more recent move to 22 parish groups organized within 10 deanery territories, with each led by a priest who is nominated as a dean. Canon 555 of the Code of Canon Law lays out nicely the responsibilities for a dean. These includes: 

  • To promote and coordinate common pastoral activity 
  • To ensure that local clerics lead a life in keeping with their state 
  • To ensure that local clerics perform their duties diligently 
  • To ensure that religious functions are celebrated according to liturgical prescripts 
  • To ensure that the beauty and elegance of churches and sacred furnishings are maintained carefully, especially in the Eucharistic celebration and custody of the Eucharist 
  • To ensure that, according to particular law, clerics attend lectures, theological meetings or conferences
  • To take care that spiritual supports are available to presbyters of his district and to show concern for those who are in difficult circumstances or beset by problems

I have now selected the priests for this role through a consultative process involving the priests, the chancery staff and other trusted advisers. There is one dean still to be appointed. That will, hopefully, come soon. Stay tuned. I kept in mind some important criteria for their selection. 

For example, in his 1966 Motu Proprio on governing the Church, In Ecclesiae Sanctae, Pope St. Paul VI states that deans are to be presbyters “quite outstanding for their learning and apostolic zeal,” and commentators generally agree that the dean ought to have social gifts, organizational skills, and pastoral experience. 

Not only do I have confidence in each of these priests’ ability to fulfill his duties as dean, but they have the esteem of their brother priests as well. They have the gifts of leadership and teamwork needed to help grow our parishes into communities of missionary disciples who evangelize the local communities. 

All these changes will come into effect on July 1, 2023. Hence, please pray for these men as they embark on this new endeavor for the sake of our diocese, parishes and people of God.


Yours in Christ,

+ Earl Boyea

Bishop of Lansing


The list of the new deaneries in the Diocese of Lansing

1. Southern Deanery | Dean: Father Todd Koenigsknecht

Hillsdale/West Lenawee Grouping

  • Sacred Heart, Hudson, Lenawee, Father Todd Koenigsknecht
  • St Anthony of Padua, Hillsdale, Hillsdale, Father David Reamsnyder
  • St Mary on the Lake, Manitou Beach, Lenawee, Father Todd Koenigsknecht

Eastern Lenawee Grouping

  • Holy Family (includes St. Mary of Good Counsel and St. Joseph Oratory,  Adrian), Adrian, Lenawee, Father Michael Newman,  OSFS
  • Light of Christ (includes St. Alphonsus and St. Peter the Apostle Oratory, Blissfield), Deerfield, Lenawee, Father Jeffrey Poll
  • St. Elizabeth (includes St. Dominic Oratory, Clinton), Tecumseh, Lenawee, Father Dan Wheeler


2. Jackson Deanery | Dean: Father Tim MacDonald

The Lakes Grouping

  • Our Lady of Fatima, Michigan Center, Jackson, Father Satheesh Alphonse, SdC
  • St Joseph Shrine, Brooklyn, Lenawee, Father Zach Mabee
  • St Rita, Clarklake, Jackson, Father Thomas Helfrich, OSFS

Jackson Grouping

  • Queen of the Miraculous Medal, Jackson, Jackson, Father Timothy MacDonald
  • St. Catherine Laboure, Concord, Jackson, Jackson, Father Timothy MacDonald
  • St. John the Evangelist/St. Joseph the Worker (includes St. Joseph Oratory,  Jackson), Jackson, Jackson, Father Charles Canoy
  • St. Mary Star of the Sea  (includes St. Stanislaus Oratory,  Jackson) and Sagrada Corazon Community, Jackson, Jackson, Father Timothy Nelson


3. Lansing Deanery | Dean: Father Steve Mattson

Lansing North Grouping

  • Church of the Resurrection, Lansing, Ingham, Father Steve Mattson
  • St. Andrew Dung-Lac, Lansing, Ingham, Father Joe Sy Kim
  • St. Mary Cathedral, Lansing, Ingham, Father Karl Pung
  • St. Therese, Lansing, Ingham, Father John Fain

East Lansing/Shiawassee Grouping

  • St. Mary, Morrice, Shiawassee, Msgr. George Michalek
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (includes St. John Church & Student Center, East Lansing), East Lansing, Ingham, Father Gordon Reigle

Eastern Ingham Grouping

  • St. Martha, Okemos, Ingham, Father Michael Murray
  • St. Mary, Williamston, Ingham, Father David Fons


4. Northern Deanery | Dean: Father Mike Williams

Clinton Grouping

  • Most Holy Trinity, Fowler, Clinton, Father Eric Weber
  • St. Mary, Westphalia, Clinton, Father Eric Weber

Clinton/Shiawassee Grouping

  • St. Isidore /Hoy Family, Ovid, Laingsburg, Shiawassee, Father Anthony Brooks
  • St. Joseph, Saint Johns, Clinton, Father Michael Williams
  • St. Jude, DeWitt, Clinton, Father David Speicher


5. Western Deanery | Dean: Father Jim Rolph

Lansing South Grouping

  • Cristo Rey, Lansing, Ingham, Father Vincent Richardson
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary, Lansing, Ingham, Father James Rolph
  • Sts. James, Cornelius and Cyprian (includes Sts. Cornelius & Cyprian Oratory, Leslie), Mason, Ingham, Father Kusitino Cobona 
  • St. Peter, Eaton Rapids, Eaton, Father George Puthenpeedika

Eaton County Grouping

  • St. Gerard, Lansing, Eaton, Father Robert Bacik
  • St. Mary (includes St. Ann Oratory,  Bellevue), Charlotte, Eaton, Father Dwight Ezop
  • St. Michael, Grand Ledge, Eaton, Father James Eisele


6. Northeastern Deanery | Dean: Father Joe Krupp

Shiawassee/Genesee Grouping

  • Good Shepherd, Montrose, Genesee, Father Jonathan Perrotta
  • St. Mary and St. Joseph Parish (includes St. Joseph Oratory, Gaines), Durand, Shiawassee, Deacon Wayne Corrion
  • St. Mary Queen of Angels, Swartz Creek, Genesee, Father Louis Ekka
  • St. Paul (includes St. Joseph Oratory, Owosso), Owosso, Shiawassee, Father Michael O’Brien
  • St. Robert Bellarmine, Flushing, Genesee, Father Jonathan Perrotta

Southern Genesee Grouping

  • Holy Family, Grand Blanc, Genesee, Father Joseph Krupp,
  • St. John the Evangelist, Fenton, Genesee, Father Robert Copeland,
  • St. Mark the Evangelist, Grand Blanc, Genesee, Father Joseph Krupp


7. Flint Deanery | Dean: TBD

Flint Grouping

  • Christ the King, Flint, Genesee, Father Thomas Firestone
  • Holy Redeemer, Burton, Genesee, Father Steve Anderson
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe, Flint, Genesee, Father Anthony Strouse
  • St. John Vianney (includes St. Mary Oratory,  Flint), Flint, Genesee, Father Thomas Firestone
  • St. Matthew, Flint, Genesee, Father Anthony Strouse
  • St. Pius X, Flint, Genesee, Father Anthony Strouse

Eastern Genesee Grouping

  • Holy Rosary, Flint, Genesee, Father Roy Horning
  • SS Charles & Helena, Clio, Genesee, Father Kenneth Coughlin
  • St. Francis Xavier, Otisville, Genesee, Father Kenneth Coughlin
  • St. John the Evangelist (includes Blessed Sacrament Oratory,  Burton), Davison, Genesee, Father Andrew Czajkowski
  • St. Mary, Mount Morris, Genesee, Father Roy Horning


8. Livingston Deanery | Dean: Father Mathias Thelen

Western Livingston Grouping

  • St. Agnes Parish, Fowlerville, Livingston, Father Nate Sokol
  • St. Joseph, Howell, Livingston, Father Gary Koenigsknecht

Northeast Livingston Grouping

  • St. Augustine, Howell, Livingston, Father Gregg Pleiness
  • St. John the Baptist, Howell, Livingston, Father Francis George
  • St. Mary Magdalen, Brighton, Livingston, Father Paul Erickson

South Livingston/Northeast Washtenaw Grouping

  • Holy Spirit, Brighton, Livingston, Father John Rocus
  • St. Mary, Pinckney, Livingston, Father Daniel Kogut
  • St. Patrick, Brighton, Livingston, Father Mathias Thelen
  • St. Patrick Parish, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Father Thomas Wasilewski


9. Ann Arbor Deanery | Dean: Father Bill Ashbaugh

Downtown Ann Arbor Grouping

  • St. Francis of Assisi, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Father James Conlon
  • St. Mary Student Parish, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Father James Gartland, SJ
  • St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Father William Ashbaugh

Eastern Washtenaw Grouping

  • Christ the King, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Father Ed Fride
  • St. John the Baptist, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Father Daniel Westermann
  • St. Joseph, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Father Pieter van Rooyen


10. Southwestern Deanery | Dean: Father Brendan Walshz

Southern Washtenaw Grouping

  • Immaculate Conception, Milan, Washtenaw, Father Vincent VanDoan
  • St. Andrew, Saline, Washtenaw, Father John Linden 
  • St. Mary, Manchester, Washtenaw, Father Bosco Padamattummal

Western Washtenaw Grouping

  • St. Joseph, Dexter, Washtenaw, Father Brendan Walsh
  • St. Mary, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Father William Turner