Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests
Father Christopher Fontanini serves as Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests. He also serves as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines.
As Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests, Father Fontanini provides guidance and encouragement for those priests who have been ordained five years or less. Beginning life as a priest is a time which requires adjustment. From the moment of presbyteral ordination, one is perceived in a new way by others in the Church and one's role in relation to others in the Church is different. By the nature of Holy Orders, one begins a lifetime vocation within the Church.
Adjustments to this new life take time. In past generations, when there were many more priests serving in the diocese, most of the adjustment for the newly ordained priests occurred under the eye of the pastor. Often, a newly ordained priest would have served with numerous pastors before becoming a pastor himself. Often, those in nonparish ministries worked with many other priests as well. Today, with fewer priests, the newly ordained often find themselves alone in facing questions. Thus, the vicar for newly ordained offers guidance and encouragement.