Bishop Appoints Woman to Lead Fairfield Parish

Months after the death of a local church priest, a Roman Catholic bishop in Connecticut has taken the unusual step of placing a lay woman in charge of that parish.

Eleanor Sauers, who has a doctorate in theology and teaches religious studies at Fairfield University, takes over in January at St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield.

Her official title will be Parish Life Coordinator, but Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has given her the decision-making authority at the parish, where a team of priests will assist her by celebrating Mass and performing other ministerial duties.

Sauers said she understands that she is being viewed as somewhat of a role model hopes that women who may have become discouraged by the patriarchal nature of Catholicism, might look at her appointment and give the church another chance.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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