Clergy Changes Coming for Local Catholic Churches

Bishop Michael Sis of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo announced several clergy changes in the diocese effective July 1. Several involve former and current priests in Abilene.

Most notably for Abilenians, the Rev. Msgr. Fred Nawarskas, or “Father Fred” as he is best known, will retire. He has been priest at Holy Family Catholic Church since 1996. A special Mass was held at Holy Family on May 19, 2017, in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Msgr. Fred Nawarskas

He will be replaced by the Very Rev. Santiago Udayar, who also will continue his duties as vicar general of the diocese.

The following changes were announced by the diocese:

  • Rev. Joe Barbieri as parochial administrator of SEAS, Odessa
  • Rev. Josh Gray as parochial administrator of St. Margaret, San Angelo, and St. Therese, Carlsbad
  • Rev. Lorenzo Hatch as rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Deacon Kevin Lenius as parochial vicar of St. Stephen, Midland
  • Rev. Balachandra Nagipogu as parochial administrator of St. Margaret, Big Lake, St. Francis of Assisi, Iraan, and St. Thomas, Rankin
  • Rev. Msgr. Fred Nawarskas will retire
  • Rev. Francis Njoku as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fort Stockton, and St. James, Sanderson
  • Rev. Reginald Odima as parochial vicar of Holy Angels, San Angelo
  • Rev. Freddy Perez as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Midland
  • Very Rev. Santiago Udayar as pastor of Holy Family, Abilene, in addition to his continued duties as vicar general of the diocese
  • Rev. Mark Woodruff will retire

Top Photo: Monsignor Frederick G. Nawarskas, right, prepares for a special Mass on May 19, 2017, at Holy Family Catholic Church in honor of the 50th anniversary of “Father Fred’s” ordination to the priesthood. The Most Rev. Michael Sis, bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo, presided over the Mass, which was attended by about 500 people. “Father Fred” has been at Holy Family Catholic Church since 1996. Photo by Loretta Fulton

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