Josephites Returning Pastoral Care of Two Parishes to Archdiocese; Administrator Named at St. Augustine

January 12, 2003

Two Washington, DC parishes that have been staffed by priests of the Josephite religious order for many decades will return to the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Washington starting February 1, 2003. That same day, a new administrator will begin service at St. Augustine parish, also in Washington, DC. He will replace Monsignor Russell Dillard, who left ministry last year.

Josephite Father Lowell Case, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Southeast Washington for the past six years, has been named administrator of St. Augustine. Father Charles Green, a diocesan priest, will continue as St. Augustine’s associate pastor and the archdiocese will retain responsibility for the pastoral care of the parish.

Josephite Father Donald Fest, current pastor of both St. Benedict the Moor parish, near RFK Stadium in Northeast Washington, and of St. Vincent de Paul parish, at M and South Capitol Streets, Southeast, will succeed Fr. Case as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Fr. Michael Jones, current chaplain of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, will be administrator for St. Benedict and St. Vincent de Paul until a new pastor is named by the Archdiocese of Washington.

Josephite priests have served in Washington since 1923. They took over the pastoral care of St. Vincent de Paul in 1927 and have staffed St. Benedict the Moor since its founding in 1946. In addition to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, they will continue to have pastoral responsibility for the Church of the Incarnation in Northeast Washington, St. Luke in Southeast Washington and the Howard University Catholic Newman Center.

“I am very grateful to the Josephites for the long commitment and service they have had and continue to have for the people and Church in Washington. I know it is with great reluctance and much sadness that they have decided they must give up the pastoral care of these two parishes due to fewer vocations in their order. In light of this, I am particularly grateful to their superior general, Father Robert Kearns, for permitting Fr. Case to serve at St. Augustine for the next two years. Fr. Case has been a special part of our local Church for 13 years. He is well loved and well respected. I am confident he will be a loving administrator for St. Augustine,” said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington.

Before becoming pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1996, Fr. Case was pastor at the Church of the Incarnation in Northeast Washington from 1990-1996, and, in 1980, was a deacon-intern at Holy Redeemer on New York Avenue, NW. Ordained to the priesthood in 1980, he also has served in parishes in Beaumont and Houston, Texas and in Welsh, Louisiana.

Fr. Fest came to St. Benedict and St. Vincent de Paul in September 2002, after serving for a number of years in Baltimore, Maryland and Barrett Station, Texas. Since his ordination in 1976, he also has served as an associate in New Orleans, Louisiana and was an associate pastor at Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, DC from 1983-1985. In 1975, he was a deacon-intern at St. Vincent de Paul.

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