On April 28, the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced new clergy appointments. The announcement included the news that Fr. Vito Perrone, of the Contemplatives of St. Joseph, will serve as the new Chaplain of Star of the Sea School, starting May 1.

The appointment addresses the controversy at the school which began when the pastor of Star of the Sea, Fr. Joseph Illo, announced that only boys would be allowed to serve at the altar–a decision at the pastor’s discretion. Fr. Illo’s announcement did not go down well with some of the parents at the school, who began a vendetta against him, which included retaining San Francisco’s hired PR gun, Sam Singer, to orchestrate efforts to have Illo removed.

The appointment of Fr. Perrone, a priest of impeccable orthodoxy, does a number of things. It ensures that the students at Star of the Sea will continue to receive the same level of fidelity to the Catholic faith as they had from Fr. Illo. It should defuse the concerns of parents, whose relations with Illo had degenerated to such a state that the parish was suffering. It should comfort parents who can be confident that their children will continue to receive a faithful Catholic education, without the distraction of battling against the parish’s pastor—assuming faithful Catholic education is what they want. It will strengthen Fr. Illo in his work at building the parish and the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, without those same distractions. Faithful Catholics should be happy as well. Those who know Fr. Perrone know that his appointment to any parish cannot possibly result in a diminution of Catholicity.

Fr. Perrone will still be attached to the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph. Their webpage describes their mission:

“The [Contemplatives of Saint Joseph], a Catholic religious order of men, was founded recently within the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The priests and brothers lead a life of deep contemplative prayer and serve in an active apostolate within the Archdiocese of San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area dioceses. We are a Public Clerical Association of the Christian Faithful as decreed by Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco….Discerning that it is God who chose them to join the Contemplatives of Saint Joseph, the priests and brothers have the faith and confidence to bear witness to their calling as contemplative souls within the modern world.

The priests and brothers spend significant part of each day in contemplative spiritual practice. This intense spiritual lifestyle prepares them to become proficient in matters dealing with their active apostolate.”