In the Diocese of Davenport, collegial leadership takes place in each of six geographical areas called a “deanery.” The priest leading the deanery is known as a dean. Canon law requires the dean to be a priest. The dean’s role is essentially an extension of the bishop’s office.
With the expiration of existing terms, Bishop Martin Amos announces the appointment of deans for the six deaneries, effective July 1. They are:
Father Stephen Ebel, while remaining as pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Knoxville, and Sacred Heart Parish, Melcher, appointed to Dean of the Grinnell Deanery.
Father Patrick Hilgendorf, VF, while remaining as pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Ottumwa, and St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Bloomfield, reappointed to Dean of the Ottumwa Deanery.
Father Kenneth Kuntz, VF, while remaining a Consultor of the Diocese of Davenport and as pastor of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, Clinton, reappointed to Dean of the Clinton Deanery.
Msgr. James Parizek, JCL, VF, while remaining as Tribunal Judge, Delegate of the Bishop; Promoter of Justice; and pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish, Davenport, reappointed to Dean of the Davenport Deanery.
Father James Vrba, while remaining as pastor of St. Mary Parish, Solon, reappointed to Dean of the Iowa City Deanery.
Father David Wilkening, VF, while remaining as pastor of Holy Family Parish, Fort Madison, and St. Joseph Parish, Montrose, reappointed as Dean of the Keokuk Deanery.
In a letter sent to each dean, Bishop Amos summarized the duties: A dean promotes and coordinates common pastoral action in the deanery. He sees to it that the clerics of the deanery live according to their state in life and discharge their obligations faithfully. He ensures that sacred functions are properly celebrated, that churches are properly maintained, that the parish registers are kept and that the rectory is properly maintained. He should encourage the priests of his deanery to attend clergy conferences, see that spiritual assistance is available to them, and ensure that priests who are seriously ill have spiritual and material help if needed. He assists in arranging funerals of priests, if necessary. He sees to it that after the death of a priest, books, documents, sacred furnishings and other items belonging to the Church are not taken away or lost.
Deans serve a three-year term, or for a term designated by a bishop, or until assigned outside his current deanery.