Four priests in the Diocese of Salt Lake City have received assignments as pastors or administrators at new parishes. The assignments take effect Aug. 1.
Father Richard Sherman
Assigned to St. John the Baptist Parish
Fr. Richard (Rick) Sherman was ordained a priest on May 19, 2000 in the Cathedral of the Madeleine by Bishop George H. Niederauer. He has served in various parishes in the Diocese of Salt Lake City: St. Joseph (Ogden), St. Mary of the Assumption, St. Bridget and its associated missions, St. Pius X and its associated missions, St. Elizabeth and its associated missions, and most recently Christ the King Parish. He also has served on the diocesan Peace and Justice Commission, as moderator for the DCCW Southwestern Deanery and the Presbyteral Council representative for the Southwestern Deanery.
What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?
I would like them to know that the greatest gifts of my life have been my faith and the benefit of Catholic education since childhood. Because I spent the first 20 years of my adult life as a lay Catholic, I realize how easy it is to slide into ‘mainstream’ lifestyles that don’t necessarily hold discipleship at the center. Life becomes immeasurably more interesting with God and discipleship at the center.
What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?
I have been told by everyone that St. John the Baptist Parish is a very vibrant and engaging community. I am looking forward to jumping in and especially being involved in adult formation. I think the V Encuentro process will be a nice structure to move into while entering a new parish. I have spent the last 13 years in smaller parishes and missions in central and southern Utah (which I have loved), so this large English-speaking parish will be an adventure. It will also be interesting to interact with the schoolkids and faculty.
As a priest, what has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge as a priest has been what I call synergy, or rather lack thereof. I want everyone to be as excited about “building up the Kingdom of God” and “teaching the nations” as I am. So far that has not been the case. It has probably been a major concern of most religious people over the past 60 years about the secularization of American society. The dominant themes, language, symbols and goals we live in are not religious, let alone Catholic. Catholics need to be more deliberate. Because priesthood is actually a spousal relationship, the whole process of parish ministry is severely impeded when there is not a genuine emphasis and enthusiasm about the Catholic mission by everyone involved.
As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?
The most satisfying aspect of priesthood is accompanying people on their spiritual journeys. To me this is what gives meaning to life. I have greatly enjoyed living in the different locations in Utah, which are so diverse and beautiful. As parish priests, we spend most of our time ministering with other Catholics who are enormously generous with their time, talent and treasure. Plus, we get paid and get the Blue Cross/Blue Shield!