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Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky happened to be in Oglesby for a “40 Hours” celebration Tuesday when he sprung some news on Holy Family’s flock: Their priest is now officially pastor.
The Rev. Gary Blake sheds the acting title of “administrator,” which he’s held since coming to Oglesby last summer. Jenky’s announcement surprised the congregation, which heartily applauded the announcement.
Blake was surprised, too.
“Usually, (being made pastor) comes a year after appointment, which would have been June,” Blake said, “but I appreciated the bishop’s kindness and trust in appointing me pastor.”
Blake was ordained in 2008 and first was assigned to Holy Cross Church in Mendota, where he served four years until his transfer to Oglesby.
Priests entrusted with running parishes for the first time typically are granted the title of administrator until they establish themselves, usually over the course of a year. Holy Family trustee Dan Fitzgerald said he was pleased with the announcement.
“Fr. Blake has done a good job,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s dedicated to the parish, very thoughtful, very level-headed and thinks ahead. I think very highly of him.”
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or email@example.com.
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