By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi has appointed Msgr. William Skoneki as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia as well as Rector of Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, effective July 5.
Msgr. Skoneki has been pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Auburn since 2005.
He has served at various parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile as well as 13 years as the archdiocese’s fiscal officer and five years as the Catholic Charities Appeal director.
Msgr. Skoneki is essentially trading roles with current Vicar General Msgr. Michael Farmer, who will become pastor at St. Michael Parish.
“I am honored that Archbishop Rodi is willing to appoint me his Vicar General,” Msgr. Skoneki said. “I will miss St. Michael’s and Auburn terribly — what a blessing these 14 years here have been to me. I look forward to renewing my relationships in Mobile and Baldwin counties.”
A Vicar General serves as a diocesan bishop’s principal deputy, able to administer a diocese in the bishop’s name in the event of an absence or illness of the ordinary.
While Msgr. Skoneki will return to the archdiocesan offices, it will be a new opportunity for Msgr. Farmer.
With the exception of a four-year appointment in Rome, Msgr. Farmer has been connected to the Chancery office since 1998. He previously served as vice chancellor and chancellor, then became vicar general and rector of the Cathedral in 2001.
Msgr. Farmer is a Prattville native and his first parish assignment was at St. Bede the Venerable in Montgomery.
“I’m very grateful for the new experience. I will definitely miss a lot of aspects of the ministry in the Chancery and I will definitely miss the Cathedral Parish, but there’s also a great expectation that I have about the future ministry,” Msgr. Farmer said, “particularly with a parish like St. Michael that will have much more variety than my present experience.”
Msgr. Farmer noted the connections St. Michael has had in his life.
Along with St. Michael being Msgr. Farmer’s patron saint name, St. Michael is one of the co-patron saints of the archdiocese.
Msgr. Farmer also coordinated construction of St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope.
“Now I’m going to the parish of St. Michael, which is exciting,” Msgr. Farmer said. “The other connection I’m very excited about is the whole campus ministry aspect.”
“And of course being an Auburn fan, it’s nice as well,” he joked.
Msgr. Farmer also praised Msgr. Skoneki and what he will add to the Chancery.
“I think Msgr. Skoneki is a wonderful fit in the sense he’s already served in archdiocesan ministries … and he’s familiar with the whole environment,” Msgr. Farmer said.
“Better yet, his experience having served as a pastor in Mobile, an associate pastor in Baldwin County, an associate pastor in Montgomery and now a pastor in Auburn gives him a flavor of the needs of the diocese as he’s serving down here.”