Bishop W. Shawn McKnight announces new diocesan cabinet

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight on Feb. 9 announced the following appointments to leadership roles for the Diocese of Jefferson City:
•Rev. Msgr. Robert A. Kurwicki, rector of Cathedral of St. Joseph parish in Jefferson City, has been appointed vicar general of the diocese.
The vicar general helps the bishop with the operation of the diocese and with administrative tasks. He is the bishop’s chief deputy, and when the bishop is away, the vicar general works in the bishop’s place.
Msgr. Kurwicki previously served as master of ceremonies for the late Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe and for 11 years and as secretary to the bishop under Bishop Emeritus John R. Gaydos.
He will continue as rector of the cathedral parish and as chaplain to the Missouri House of Representatives.
•Very Rev. Gregory Meystrik, who has been serving since 2013 as vicar for administration of the diocese, will be the moderator of the curia, which previously was a duty joined with the office of vicar general.
He will continue his prior duties of overseeing administration for the diocese and act in the capacity of chief operating officer for the chancery offices.
He will also continue as pastor of St. Francis Xavier parish in Taos.
•Very Rev. Mark Porterfield, judicial vicar in charge of the diocesan Matrimonial Tribunal, will also serve as vice-chancellor, serving as chief canonist for the diocese and advising staff at the diocesan and parish levels on Canon Law (Church law) matters.
He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome and has been serving on the Tribunal since 2000.
He will continue as pastor of St. Brendan parish in Mexico.
•Sister Kathleen Wegman of the School Sisters of Notre Dame will continue to serve as chancellor of the diocese.
In this role, which she has held since 2006, she will continue overseeing human resources, youth protection services and serving as delegate to religious communities, liaison to Catholic Charities, and consultant to the parishes in leadership development for parish and finance advisory councils.
•Very Rev. Joseph S. Corel will serve as the bishop’s vicar for prison ministry, overseeing and coordinating the diocese’s outreach to people in prison or in jail in the diocese, those who are on parole or recently released from prison, and their families.
Fr. Corel worked in prison ministry as a seminarian at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, served as Catholic chaplain at the former Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City and later at the Jefferson City Correctional Center, and has been active in the Residents Encounter Christ movement for people in prison.
He served as vicar general from 2015 to November of 2017, and has been serving since then as coordinator of the transition between Bishop Emeritus Gaydos and Bishop McKnight.
He will continue as pastor of St. Andrew parish in Holts Summit and through June as a special assistant to Bishop McKnight regarding his transition.
•Rev. Louis Nelen will continue to serve as secretary to the bishop, working with Bishop McKnight on answering correspondence, scheduling parish visits and other events in the diocese, and researching liturgical protocol.
He will continue as pastor of St. Martin parish in St. Martins and canonical pastor and sacramental minister at St. Michael parish in Russellville.
These appointments take effect immediately.
Other changes involving priest and personnel staffing will proceed following the normal timetable and will be announced later this spring.

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