May 17, 2012 in Washington Voices

Prayer service follows priest removal effort

By The Spokesman-Review

The congregation of St. Mary’s Catholic Church is moving forward after a petition last year asked for the removal of the parish priest, the Rev. Victor Blazovich. A special prayer service to promote spiritual healing is set for 7 p.m. today at the church, at 304 S. Adams Road.

The lengthy petition put forth several complaints, including that Blazovich was making financial and other decisions without the proper input from the congregation and that he was betraying the confidentiality of church members he counseled by using their first names in his weekly homilies during Mass.

In April, Blazovich sent a letter to church members addressing the petition issue. After the church’s Parish Advisory Council did not support the petition, Bishop Blase Cupich created a task force for healing and reconciliation. The task force recommended expanding the parish advisory council, the finance council, the school advisory council and religious education boards as well as holding the prayer service.

“The petitioners had some legitimate concerns about the transparency of some of my decisions and communications skills,” Blazovich wrote. Changes are being made to ensure better communication and more parishioner participation, he wrote. “My strong hope and prayer is that parishioners who have left because of me, or for any other reason, will soon return to St. Mary’s, their spiritual home.”

Blazovich declined to provide any additional comment other than a one-sentence statement. “The faith life of the community is and has been my top priority and that’s what motivates me and gives direction to my decisions about what I need to do to promote as best I can the good of the parish,” he said.

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