Diocese Welcomes Fr. Mangum as Administrator

by Jessica Rinaudo

On Monday, August 27, following the installation of Bishop Michael Duca as the 6th Bishop of Baton Rouge, the Diocese of Shreveport’s College of Consultors, a group of 11 priests, convened to elect a diocesan administrator. The diocesan administrator is a priest who will oversee diocesan operations until the appointment of a new bishop by the Vatican.

Very Reverend Peter B. Mangum was elected to the position. Fr. Mangum received his seminary education from Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas before attending North American College in Rome where he obtained degrees in Sacred Theology and in Canon Law. Ordained in 1990, Fr. Mangum has served as Judicial Vicar and has been pastor of the parishes of St. Paul in Minden, St. Joseph in Shreveport, and the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, where he currently serves as Rector.

“I am grateful to my brother priests for their confidence in me to govern the diocese until we get a new bishop,” said Fr. Mangum. “This is an additional opportunity to serve, and I am grateful for the prayerful support of the people of the diocese and of the assistance offered to me by my brother priests and by the Cathedral staff. There is something inspiring about knowing the third Bishop of Shreveport is out there working in the Church, so it makes our prayers very concrete as I strive to maintain and prepare the diocese for him. Join me in praying for him in his pursuit of holiness and for his zeal for and love of the Church as Jesus Christ founded it.”

From Fr. Rothell Price’s article in the August Catholic Connection:

“The diocesan administrator enjoys the power of the diocesan bishop, with the exception of a few things; for example, he cannot ordain a bishop, priest, or deacon because he is not bishop. He can, however, invite a bishop to come to the diocese to preside over an ordination. Likewise, he cannot preside at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week. Again, he would have to recruit a bishop from outside our diocese to come preside at that Mass.”

He continued, “The diocesan administrator is forbidden to do anything against the rights of the diocese or those of the in-coming bishop. He is prohibited from removing or changing documents of the diocesan curia. During his administration nothing is to be altered or changed in the diocese. These rules are in place to ensure stability and tranquility in the diocese until the new bishop arrives. The diocesan administrator is obliged to live in the diocese and ensure Mass for the people of the diocese. His responsibilities end when the new bishop takes possession of the diocese.”

Fr. Mangum hit the ground running in his new role. With the support of his brother priests, he announced a diocesan prayer vigil for reparation and petition in the face of the Church’s sex abuse crisis that was held on Friday, September 14, at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. Fr. Mangum also coordinated the distribution of the letter of Archbishop Gregory Aymond sent to all parishes of the Diocese of Shreveport regarding the same crisis and has drafted and published a prayer for a new bishop for the Diocese of Shreveport.

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