ERIE — Members of St. Joseph Council 7413, Knights of Columbus, are urging prayers for more priests in the Archdiocese of Detroit to alleviate a shortage of clergy in Southeast Michigan, particularly in the south-Monroe County region.

At its monthly meeting in Erie Tuesday, Grand Knight Ben Roelant led about 20 members of the council in praying for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.


"We need priests," Roelant told the members. "Our priests need us now."

Currently, due to a shortage of priests, the Lumen Christi Family of Parishes has only one priest available — Rev. Donald Slaton. The family includes St. Anthony Catholic Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Temperance and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Erie. Father Slaton, pastor at St. Anthony, is also ministering at the other two parishes.

Roelant noted that Rev. Don LaCuesta has been ill and cannot celebrate Mass or the sacraments until he returns. Father LaCuesta has served as pastor of Mount Carmel for the past 10 years. Also, Rev. Gerard Cupple, pastor of nearby St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Ida, died last week, Roelant noted.

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Father Slaton said in a letter printed in Sunday's bulletin at St. Joseph, "I am in discussions with all of the Lumen Christi staffs, as well as the archdiocese about how to proceed. Please keep me in your prayers for wisdom and strength during this period of transition. I intend to provide for St. Joseph, St. Anthony and Our Lady of Mount Carmel as I am able and given the Grace by God. The Lord has not abandoned us! Let us not lose hope in His promise."

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Erie K of C prays for more priests to alleviate shortage

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