Such assignments as these bore heavily upon the pastors and they did not always greet their new orders with the greatest fervor. The Diocese of Dallas assigned Rev. Jon J. Dolje to the large mission territory of the parish at Umbarger, but Dolje, at the age of fifty-seven was weary from years of mission work. His response to the vicar-general of Dallas expressed the anguish that many of his brother priests must have felt over the enormity of their assignments:John Michael Harter, Problems Encountered by the Catholic Church in West Texas
You no doubt have heard of or perhaps even read the now infamous accusations against myself, your Rector and the associate Rector.Bishop Patrick J. Zurek. “A Reflection on Christian Life”
Fr. Dolje came at a difficult time in the history of our diocese. I invite you to get a copy of the latest newsletter from “The Catholic Historical Society, Diocese of Amarillo” and read John Michael Harter’s article from 1975 entitled “Problems Encountered by the Catholic Church in West Texas”. It puts the unrest we are experiencing at the Cathedral and even with Coronavirus and George Floyd into perspective.
Fr. Dolje, as we will discover, could say “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”
As I rest here on the second stop on this pilgrimage I pray that we at the Cathedral parish can keep the faith as St. Paul and Fr. Dolje did!