MADISON -- Msgr. James Gunn, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Waunakee, has been named Vicar for Priests of the Diocese of Madison by Bishop Robert C. Morlino.
The appointment is effective immediately. Monsignor Gunn will continue as pastor of the Waunakee parish while taking on this new assignment.
In announcing the appointment, Bishop Morlino said, "I asked the priest council for suggestions to fill the role of Vicar for Priests and Monsignor Gunn was one of the most suggested men for the job. I couldn't be more pleased with their suggestion in this regard.
"Msgr. Jim Gunn is a man who possesses a truly priestly heart, and I am very grateful to him for accepting this extra responsibility in order to be a help to me in serving all of our priests."
The Vicar for Priests' responsibilities include, but are not limited to, visitation of priests in the parishes, their work place, the hospital, and their home, in order to offer personal support and to promote the personal and ministerial well-being of and the presbyteral fraternal bond of the priests in the Diocese of Madison, whether they are in active ministry or are retired from active ministry.
Monsignor Gunn commented on his appointment, "I wish to express my gratitude to Bishop Morlino in asking me to serve as Vicar for Priests. I am grateful and honored with the confidence and trust he and the priests of the diocese have placed in me.
"Bishop expressed his continuing concern for his priests, especially infirm and retired priests. Priests need to have a priest to care for their needs and over-all welfare. Priests also need one who will listen to their hearts."
Monsignor Gunn added, "Parishioners have expressed to bishop their concern for someone to also look after the needs of their parish priest. The Vicar for Priests is a ministry to the ministers.
"Priesthood is a wonderful gift to the Church and the man himself," he said. "Please continue to pray for the priests and for me as I begin this ministry to priests."
A native of Janesville, Monsignor Gunn was ordained to the priesthood in 1977. He has served at parishes in Berlin, Fort Atkinson, Dickeyville, Edgerton, and Waunakee. He was also on the faculty at Holy Name Seminary in Madison and was director of vocations for the diocese from 1982 to 1995.
He has been a member of the Presbyteral Council and a diocesan consultor. He was named a Prelate of Honor in 2000.