The return to full ministry of Father Matthew Cowan was received with much joy and relief by many Catholics in the Diocese of Gaylord. However, Father Cowan is not serving the Diocese of Gaylord. Instead, he was transferred, “on loan” from the Diocese of Gaylord, to the the Diocese of Salina, Kansas.
The Diocese of Gaylord has 75 parishes and 56 priests who are listed on the diocesan website as active priests (not senior priests or on leave – Father Nursey is also not in this number as he is discerning a vocation with a religious order). Bishop Raica noted in 2018 that the Diocese had 40 active priests and 77 parishes. The discrepancy may be in those priests who are pastors. Administrators may not have been counted in Bishop Raica’s numbers.
In any event, the number of priests is far short of the number of parishes in the Diocese. Also, there is a preponderance of priests above 60 years of age. This causes many to question why a young priest would be “loaned” to another diocese when the priest shortage here seems to be so significant. Let us pray for good men to seek a vocation for our Diocese.