Services to Priests & Deacons

Priestly Life and Ministry

The Episcopal Vicar for Clergy exercises pastoral care for the priests and deacons of and serving in the Diocese of Helena, acting on behalf of the Bishop. He assists with coordination of clergy appointments and similar matters.

The Episcopal Vicar for Senior Status priests provides pastoral care for senior status priests, and represents their needs to the Bishop and various consultative groups.

The Vicar for Extern Priests, provides pastoral care for and represents the pastoral needs of priests who are serving in the Diocese of Helena, but who were ordained for another Diocese or Religious Community.

The Delegate for Ministry to Priests assists the Bishop and the vicar for clergy in giving pastoral care to priests who may experience some difficulty in their ministry. The delegate encourages priests to participate in programs and sabbaticals which will further their education and effectiveness in ministry. He provides references for such opportunities and assists to arrange periodic in-diocese formation opportunities.

Delegate for Clergy:
Father Gary W. Reller
217 Tremont St., Missoula, MT 59801
Phone: 543-3129
Fax: 549-6009
Delegate for Senior Status Priests:
Msgr. Joseph Harrington
1601 N. Benton Ave., Helena, MT 59625
Phone: 447-4459
Delegate for Extern Priests:
Father Jack Darragh
730 B Missy’s Way
Missoula, MT 59801
Delegate for Ministry to Priests:
Father Thomas P. Haffey
2100 Farragut Ave., Butte, MT 59701
Phone: 723-4303
Fax: 723-5172

Clergy Senior Status and Security Trust

This trust provides a retirement program for diocesan priests and contracts with specialists to manage the retirement fund.

Bishop George Leo Thomas
Board of Advisors:
Father Gary Reller, Chairman; Monsignor Joseph Harrington; Father John Darragh; Father Jack Murray. Staff: Monsignor Kevin O’Neill; Father John Robertson, Chancellor; Jim Carney, Finance Officer; Dave Ashby, Investment Manager; Jan Hubber, Plan Administrator.

Special Assistance

A special fund to help clergy who are in need of psychological, emotional or long-term medical assistance that is not covered by insurance.

Bishop George Leo Thomas

Personnel Board

The board advises the Bishop on clergy personnel assignments and conducts regular surveys of clergy.

Father Jack Darragh; Father Rod Ermatinger; Father Jeffrey Fleming; Father Dougald McCallum; Father Gary Reller, E.V.; Father Bart Tolleson; Father Val Zdilla; Monsignor Kevin O’Neill; Father John Robertson, Secretary; Sister Rita McGinnis, Consultant.

Professional Education

This fund provides for professional development and sabbaticals for priests of the diocese.

Monsignor Kevin O’Neill

Priestly Vocations

The vocations team encourages young men to pursue vocations to the priesthood, oversees efforts to promote vocations, and is diocesan liaison with those studying for the priesthood.

Vocations Director:
Father Marc Lenneman
1601 N. Benton Ave, Helena, MT 59625
Phone: 406-447-4869

Permanent Deacons/Program of Formation

The director of permanent deacons supervises the ongoing education and evaluation of permanent deacons and coordinates annual retreats and other gatherings for the diaconal community. The director also supervises the Program of Formation for Permanent Deacons, which provides a four-year academic, spiritual and pastoral formation process followed by a parish internship for those interested in pursuing ordination to the diaconate. The director is assisted by an advisory board.

Deacon Michael Seipp