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Bishop Cantú has appointed our Pastor, Fr. James Okafor, as the Dean of Deanery 5.

What exactly is a Deanery?

Under canon law, the bishop has the ability to group parishes into regional areas within a diocese, according to their geographic location. These regions are called deaneries. Deans are priests who act as the overseer of a deanery appointed to them by the bishop. A dean’s main task is to first and foremost provide support to the faithful and priests of his Deanery, but also to act as a liaison between the activities of his deanery and the bishop.

According to canon 555 in the Code of Canon Law, a dean is “a close collaborator with the Bishop in the pastoral care of the faithful and attentive ‘elder brother’ towards the priests of the deanery…It falls to him to coordinate the common pastoral activity of the parishes, to see to it that the priests are living lives in conformity with their state and that parochial discipline is duly observed, particularly with regard to the liturgy.”

Deans, though they don’t possess the same power of governance as the principal Vicars or bishop of a diocese, are able to vicariously exercise pastoral authority on behalf of the bishop over their own deanery. As such, deans are often asked to carry out tasks normally reserved for the bishop or principal Vicars, such as administering the sacrament of Confirmation or performing an installation ceremony of a new pastor.

There are 7 deaneries in the Diocese of San Jose. What churches are in Deanery 5?

St. Frances Cabrini, St. Mary of The Immaculate Conception, Sacred Heart, St. Lucy, Queen of Apostles, St. Martin of Tours, Church of Ascension, St. Joseph of Cupertino, and St. Thomas of Canterbury.

We congratulate Fr. James and pray for God’s wisdom as he takes on this role.