Fr. Jerry Hiland

Over my 30 years as a diocesan priest, I've volunteered or been drafted into all kinds of roles: associate pastor at three different parishes; pastor for 17 years of 2-4 parishes at a time; archdiocesan historical archivist and consultant; board member of the Couple-to-Couple League for 20 years; lead workshops for seminarians on natural family planning and sexuality for 25 years; mentor younger priests and seminarian interns; high school chaplain, jail chaplain, orphanage chaplain, police chaplain, hospital chaplain, etc. I've found that the life of a diocesan priest is always very busy and very full, often involving wearing three or four hats at the same time.

One undertaking in recent years involved forming a Pastoral Region among four parishes. The first step was to learn the story and history of each parish. We discovered that once a parish community knows that they are valued, they become free to help a sister parish or to ask for help. For me it was like having four adult children in an extended family. We became more authentically Catholic.

I was surprised to learn that my Protestant friends and others in these towns were watching us closely. As it turned out, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce gave us an award for our work to maintain a church presence in small town America. It was a recognition of the goodwill and hard work of all our nearly 1,000 Catholic households in this part of the country. This is amazing because Catholics are only 3% of the population in this area. We became good neighbors.

I believe that these past 30 years have been preparation for the next phase in my life and that the most important work lies ahead as I join the St. Bartholomew and St. Vivian parish families. Somehow, and in amazing ways, God's providence and love always unfold. Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. Jerry Hiland

 

Pastor of the

Blessed Saints Pastoral Region

 

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