(39 Total References)
By Fr. Dean ...
By Fr. Dean McFalls
Fr. Dean McFalls
, St. Mary's Parish
, Stockton, Ca. 95202.
Written on March 20, 2009, the fifth anniversary of his
weekly reflections for the Bulletin.*
McFalls remains a priest ...
McFalls remains a priest until laicization is done
Father Dean McFalls has officially stepped down from his position as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Stockton after revealing he has fathered a child.
But he remains a priest, according to Sister Terry Davis, communications director of the Diocese of Stockton.
He will remain a priest "until the end of a laicization process, but may not function as one," she said.
Laicization, Davis explained, is the "process to withdraw from the clerical state.
The process could be initiated by McFalls
, "but to my knowledge, he
has not done so."
added, "There is no definite end point" to the leave of absence that was granted to him by the bishop.
However, given the circumstances behind his
resignation, "Dean McFalls
may no longer function or present himself as a priest," Davis said.
Celibacy is required of all Catholic priests, and should not be married.
During the two telephone interviews with the former pastor at Lathrop's Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Tuesday evening, he
said that he
will "always be a priest," but that "I, myself, personally have voluntarily relinquished" his
active priestly ministry.
"A child will soon be born, and I am the baby's father," McFalls
confessed in his
statement that was read to St. Mary's parishioners.
was conceived, I had no other option, as a Christian and a priest, than to do everything possible that he
might have life, and have it to the full.
"As St. Paul told the "Romans: 'God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his
decree,' and though the Lord never decreed that I sin, he
does command that all life be respected and nurtured."
McFalls resignation meant he
had to move out of the diocesan residence that he
occupied as pastor, which is customary for priests serving parishes.
McFalls, who was the first pastor to serve at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lathrop after it was established as a parish 12 years ago after being a mission church of St. George's in Stockton for a number of years, announced his resignation as pastor in a statement read during masses this past Sunday at St. Mary's.
McFalls to be dad, no longer ...
McFalls to be dad, no longer lead St. Mary's
McFalls is leaving the church and worries about the ongoing renovation.
RAIG SANDERS/The Record
Dean McFalls, former pastor of St. Mary's Church, did not take a vow of poverty when he was ordained a Catholic priest.
Incorrect information appeared in the print and initial online version of this article.
The error has been corrected.
STOCKTON - Father Dean McFalls, one of Stockton's higher-profile and more outspoken Catholic priests, is no longer pastor of St. Mary's Church.
"I am the father of a child coming into this world," said McFalls
, whose final day was Saturday.
McFalls, ordained for 18 years and the popular pastor of St. Mary's for five years, is taking a "personal leave of absence from active ministry," according to a written statement from Bishop Stephen Blaire.
cannot administer the sacraments or wear clerical garb.
McFalls, 58, active in Stockton's Latino community, has been a chaplain with the Police Department.
On Tuesday, he
turned in his
keys and badge.
In 2011 and '12, when Stockton was enduring record-breaking homicide rates, the man known as Father Dean was presiding over dozens of victims' funerals.
is uncertain of his
said the diocese no longer pays him a salary, but that accrued vacation pay and benefits will be sufficient for six months.
"I ... hope to return to priestly ministry," he
"I am not justified in being unfaithful in my vow," McFalls
"I ask for forgiveness."
The unborn child is a son, and McFalls
said the pregnancy was almost full term.
would not comment on the adult mother or their relationship.
"I look forward to the day when a married man can be a priest without having to come through the back door," McFalls said.
, born and raised in Seattle, was affiliated with the Mother Teresa-inspired Missionaries of Charity before arriving in Stockton in 2008.
own letter to parishioners, McFalls
said, "I leave the parish not only saddened by my own human errors and the consequences which you must suffer ... but also deeply exhausted."
letter also said that he
would "do all that I can so that my child receives the care and love that he
apologized for any "grief, hurt or sense of abandonment" the St. Mary's congregation might experience.
The diocese in recent weeks has been dealing with the specter of Chapter 11 bankruptcy stemming from 22 sexual-abuse lawsuit settlements totalling $18.7 million.
didn't want to hide the coming birth and wanted to avoid a scandal.
"What I did not want was to make the child or mother suffer for my sins," McFalls
"I don't want this child growing up in the shadows.
The last thing you want is for an innocent child to suffer or go in exile or be terminated because of my mistakes.
I am a pro-life priest in a pro-life church."
final day, McFalls
performed a baptism, presided over a quinceañera, taught children in a classroom and wiped down chairs wet from the rain for the outdoor wedding of City Councilwoman Dyane Burgos.
"It was such an honor to wipe down those chairs," he
"Such an honor.
Read the full statements from Father Dean McFalls
and Bishop Stephen Blaire. (PDF File)
STOCKTON - Former Lathrop priest ...
STOCKTON - Former Lathrop priest Dean McFalls has resigned from the Stockton Diocese after telling parishioners he's about to father a child.
McFall was the pastor at St. Mary's Church
in downtown Stockton.
He arrived in Stockton in 2008 by way of Lathrop, where he held the same post at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and contributed columns for The Manteca Bulletin's religion pages.
Born in Seattle, Dean has lived, worked, and served in a wide variety of locations and vocations.
As a missionary, he served three years in Mexico, ministered twenty years in the Stockton Diocese as a Catholic seminarian and priest.
Currently, he's returning to the field of education and helping to raise his son, Gabriel.