Former St. Cecilia priest heads to D.C. for assignment


In this 2009 file photo, Fr. Chris Goodwin leads a May
Crowning celebration at St. Cecilia Church in Hastings.

A former assistant pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church is heading to the nation's capital for a lesson in diplomacy.

On Tuesday, the Rev. Chris Goodwin, 38, will join a team of six priests working at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Washington.

Goodwin will live and work in what is essentially the Vatican embassy, which handles both civil and ecclesiastical matters on behalf of Pope Francis and his administration.

The pope is the temporal ruler of the Vatican City state, a sovereign nation situated within the city of Rome, as well as the spiritual leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See, as the pope's administration is known, maintains diplomatic relations with countries around the globe.

Goodwin, who was ordained a priest in May 2004, served at St. Cecilia from June 2006 through October 2009. Most recently, he has served as pastor of small-town parishes at Weston and Touhy in the Wahoo area.

He was chosen for his new assignment by Bishop James Conley, who heads the Lincoln Diocese. His assignment was made public in May.

He will answer to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Although details of just exactly what his role will entail are still murky, Goodwin is certain of two things: 1). He'll be kept plenty busy representing the nation's roughly 200 dioceses; and 2). It will be very different type of priestly work from what he has experienced previously.

"We'll keep the business of the church rolling, you could say," he said. "I consider it a kind of new adventure in my priesthood. I'm excited about the opportunity to do new things and experience what it's like to serve the universal church.


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