Dominican clergy to remain in Hammond

Students last month led a parade around Holy Ghost Catholic School in honor of the Dominican priests, including, from left in the back row, Fathers Cayet Mangiaracina and Roberto Merced, who were set to be leaving the area at the end of June. The Diocese of Baton Rouge announced over the weekend that the Dominican clergy will remain in the Hammond area after all.

In February 2021, it was announced that the clergy of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) stationed in Hammond were to be reassigned outside of the Diocese of Baton Rouge effective July 1.

After careful review by the current administration of the Dominicans, and with the approval and consent of Bishop Michael Duca, the Dominican Friars will continue to staff Holy Ghost in Hammond, according to an announcement made by the Diocese of Baton Rouge Saturday.

Father Cayet Mangiaracina, OP, will retain his assignment as Parochial Vicar at Holy Ghost, and Deacon Mauricio Salazar, OP, will retain his assignment as Deacon Assistant at Holy Ghost. Father Roberto Merced, OP, has been elected Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Martin de Porres and will be in-residence at Holy Ghost.

Previous announcements made on May 14 regarding pastoral assignments affecting Holy Ghost and St. Albert the Great Student Center appointing Father Jamin David as Administrator, and those affecting Holy Ghost appointing Father Mathew Dunn as Parochial Vicar, Father Amalraj Savarimuthu as Parochial Vicar and Deacon Randall Waguespack as Deacon Assistant, are all rescinded immediately, according to the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Bishop Duca thanked the men for their incredible generosity and openness to minister to the people of Hammond and thanked the Dominican Friars for their continued work and ministry at Holy Ghost in Hammond.

In consultation with the Clergy Personnel Board, Duca makes the following appointments effective July 1:

Father Charles (Charlie) Johnson, OP, a priest of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), currently Director of the Catholic Newman Center at the University of Houston, is appointed Pastor of Holy Ghost in Hammond.

Father Michael O’Rourke, OP, a priest of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), will retain his appointment as Chaplain at St. Albert the Great Student Center in Hammond.

In consultation with the Office of the Diaconate, the Office of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate and the Clergy Personnel Board, Duca makes the following appointment effective Aug. 15:

Deacon Randall Waguespack is appointed as Deacon Assistant at St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland in Albany.

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