New Vicar General announced for archdiocese

| October 3, 2013

Father Charles Lachowitzer replaces Father Peter Laird whose resignation was announced Oct. 3

Father Lachowitzer

Father Lachowitzer

Father Peter Laird has resigned as vicar general and moderator of the curia, effective immediately, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Oct. 3.

Archbishop John Nienstedt has appointed Father Charles Lachowitzer, pastor of St. John Neumann in Eagan and a regional vicar, as his successor. Father Lachowitzer will begin his new responsibilities following a transition in leadership at St. John Neumann.

“Over the last few years, this archdiocese has made significant progress in many areas, including how we have strengthened policies and practices regarding clergy misconduct,” Father Laird said. “The challenge to do better can never end until we have done everything in our power to prevent all acts of misconduct.”

“I am hopeful my decision to step aside at this time, along with the formation of a new task force can help repair the trust of many, especially the victims of abuse,” he said. “I know the leadership, the dedicated staff and my fellow priests in the archdiocese are sincerely committed to proactively addressing these difficult issues.”

The archdiocese recently announced the formation of a task force that “will have within its purview a full review of misconduct cases.”

Fr. Laird

Father Laird

Father Laird served since November 2009 as vicar general and moderator of the curia, assisting the archbishop in the general care and administration of the archdiocese. Father Laird will continue to serve in a variety of roles within the archdiocese, including as the temporary administrator at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood.

“Father Laird has provided great leadership and excellent vision for this local Church, and I am grateful for his dedication and service to the archdiocese during his years as vicar general and moderator of the Curia,” Archbishop Nienstedt said.

He added that Father Lachowitzer’s “highest priority, as is mine, will be to ensure that the special task force I called for last week can operate with full integrity and ensure that no stone is left unturned to prevent harm to anyone due to clergy misconduct.”

Details about the task force will be announced in the coming week, the archbishop said.

Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché will serve as vicar general and moderator of the curia on an interim basis until Father Lachowitzer is able to fully transition into his new role. Bishop Piché previously served in that position for the archdiocese from 2008 to 2009.

Father Lachowitzer was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in 1990, following his graduation from St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Prior to his appointment as pastor at St. John Neumann in 2002, he was an associate priest at St. Michael in Stillwater and later served as pastor of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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