Saturday, April 10, 2004

Lexington Bishop Cleans House

From Lexington bishop dismisses 5 top officials:

"Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer is dismissing five high-ranking Catholic officials, four of them women, as part of a 'departmental reconfiguration.'

The director of pastoral services, Sister Helen Garvey; the parish leadership director, Sister Elizabeth Wendeln; educational ministries secretary Margaret Ralph; the director of ministry formation, Sister Iris Ann Ledden; and chief financial officer Stuart E. Duba are losing their jobs.

The firings stunned some of the diocese's 46,000 Catholics.

'I guess my first reaction was total shock and a deep, deep sadness,' said Sister Robbie Pentecost, executive director of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia. 'I know people are just heartsick all over the diocese.'

The dismissals are part of a reorganization that will be completed by July 1, the diocese said in a statement.

Gainer, Lexington's bishop since February 2003, announced the dismissals Friday in a letter to diocesan staff. "