Thursday, May 22, 2008
Michael Lightner Going to Newman Center
Fr. Michael Lightner, a priest of only three years for the Archdiocese, is being put in charge of the Newman Center at UW-Milwaukee. It's very rare that a priest would be given his own placement only after three years. Under normal circumstances, a priest would be given another three year term as an associate pastor.
Right now Lightner is finishing up his first three year term as an associate pastor at St. Francis Borgia in Cedarburg. It's been a rough three years full of rumors of odd conduct on his behalf. I do not want to perpetuate rumors that may be partially false, so I will not list them here. Suffice it to say that many parishioners at St. Francis Borgia did not like him. In his own farewell letter, Lightner states: "Some of you may be dancing because of this news." Really? That's an odd thing to write. He goes on to write: "I have to say the tough things you don't want to hear."
Its obvious enough that Lightner did not get along with a significant portion of parishioners, not just a picky few. And now the Archdiocese is sending him to the Newman Center where he will be in charge without any direct oversight. At this point there is nothing to indicate that he will not create a significant amount of inimical relationships there. This seems like a huge mistake. Lightner at the very least needs another parish placement. It will be very interesting to see what transpires at the Newman Center this year.