Lebanon NH Parish Losing Its Priest
Lebanon — The Rev. William Kaliyadan, the Indian-born priest who has led Sacred Heart Parish for 11 years while reaching out to the broader Lebanon community, is being transferred to a larger parish on Cape Cod. When he leaves in January, he’ll especially miss how active and participatory worshippers have been during his tenure.Christine Gillis (right), a licensed nursing assistant reacts to the news that the Rev. William Kaliyadan (middle) will transfer in January, 2015 (Valley News - James M. Patterson)
After the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester appoints a new pastor, Kaliyadan hopes that laymen will take over his initiatives, such as Catholics Come Home, a national program to reconcile and bring back “un-churched” parishioners. “I empowered the laity to take leadership,” the 49-year-old Kaliyadan said.
It’s too early to say whether the priest’s replacement will work full-time at Sacred Heart, since the Diocese of Manchester only recently heard about Kaliyadan’s reassignment, spokesman Patrick McGee said in a telephone interview Thursday. But “we’re not anticipating any major changes,” McGee said.
When Kaliyadan moves to Brewster, Mass., he’ll also leave behind St. Helena Parish and the La Salette Shrine in Enfield. St. Helena serves about 275 families in the Enfield area, while the congregation at Sacred Heart numbers about 1,000.
Kaliyadan’s departure is part of a national redistribution of his order, the Missionaries of La Salette, toward the southern United States, stemming from an ever-present shortage of priests. The personnel problem has also led to the recently announced closure of the La Salette shrine in Enfield.
Read more: Lebanon NH Parish Losing Its Priest