SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has appointed Fathers Matthew Alcombright and Michael Wood as the new co-vocation directors for the Diocese of Springfield. They will assume the role that Father Gary M. Dailey has held for 13 years.
In announcing the appointments, Bishop Rozanski commended Father Dailey for his long and successful tenure.
“In these years, Father Dailey has worked tirelessly in recruiting men for the seminary, worked with the seminaries our men attend, and has shepherded our seminarians in their discernment for the priesthood,” Bishop Rozanski wrote. “I am grateful to Father Gary for his dedication to our seminarians and priests over these years.”
Father Dailey will continue in his capacity as director of the Newman Catholic Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a college campus ministry which has seen growth in recent years.
In appointing Fathers Alcombright and Wood, Bishop Rozanski selected two priests ordained less than seven years ago. They accepted their new responsibilities with enthusiasm.
“I am very honored to be asked, and humbled to accept, this great ministry of vocations. I am thrilled to be working alongside a great priest and friend, Father Michael,” Father Alcombright told iObserve.
“St. Mother Teresa says ‘(m)any people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus Christ.’ My hope is that more young people throughout our diocese will accept, embrace and respond to the unfathomable love of Jesus Christ and in that love seek to serve the church in priesthood and religious life. I look forward to sharing the love that I have found and to help others accept, embrace and respond to that love,” said Father Alcombright.
His comments were echoed by Father Wood.
“God has a plan for each and every one of us and he wants us to be happy,” said Father Wood. “We find that happiness fully in the vocation God has called us to. I know how happy I am as a priest and I look forward to working with Father Matthew to help the young people of our diocese discern what vocation God is calling them to and, as a result, find the happiness they are looking for.”
Father Alcombright is a native of North Adams and was ordained by Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell in June 2012. He has served at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, West Springfield, and Mary Mother of Hope Parish, Springfield where he is pastor. In addition, Father Alcombright serves as director of the diocesan Ministry with the Deaf, as well as a member of both the Clergy Commission and Presbyteral Council. He will retain these duties while assuming his new vocation role.
Father Wood is a native of Pittsfield and was ordained by Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell in June 2011. He also served at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, West Springfield, prior to being named as ecclesiastical secretary to Bishop Rozanski, a role he performed until earlier this year when he was named administrator of St. Charles Parish, Pittsfield. He also serves on the Clergy Commission and will retain his current duties while assuming the new role.
Both priests will begin their new duties Oct. 1, 2017.