By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz made three critical chancery personnel announcements on Monday, May 20. Father Lincoln Dall is appointed Vicar General for the Diocese of Jackson, effective July 1. He will remain pastor at Pearl St. Jude Parish. Father Kevin Slattery is appointed Canonical Consultant for the Vicar General. He will remain sacramental minister for Gluckstadt St. Joseph Parish. Carolyn Callahan has accepted the position of Director of Temporal Affairs for the Diocese of Jackson, effective immediately.
Father Lincoln had been acting Director of Temporal Affairs while a search committee looked for a new leader. He will remain connected to that office as a priest liaison to the Office of Temporal Affairs.
Bishop Kopacz made the announcement about Fathers Lincoln and Slattery in a letter to chancery staff. “We have developed a good team over the past few months and I feel we can utilize our many talents and various roles to assist Father Lincoln as he takes on this new responsibility. I ask you to keep both Father Lincoln and Father Kevin in your prayers and I ask for your prayers as well. Thank you for your commitment to the Diocese of Jackson,” wrote the bishop. He commended Father Slattery on his many years of service to the diocese and on his willingness to serve as Vicar.
Callahan is no stranger to diocesan work, having acted as Controller, Internal Auditor and Coordinator of Special Projects for the diocese, Director of Finance for St. Joseph Catholic School in Madison, and as an accounting support person for all Catholic Schools. “The diversity of this work makes Carolyn well suited to know the in and outs of how the Diocese, parishes and schools operate. Carolyn is a natural problem solver and will work to streamline processes, create greater transparency and employ best practices in accounting and finance,” said Bishop Kopacz.
Callahan brings to the position more than 30 years of accounting experience. Her work within the Church has given her many opportunities to get to know priests, deacons, lay ecclesial ministers, principals, business managers and bookkeepers. She and her husband Danny have two adult sons, Christopher and Stephen. They are parishioners at Gluckstadt St. Joseph Parish.
Father Lincoln was born in Chicago and grew up as a teenager in Orange County, California, the oldest of four siblings. He started his career in accounting and finance. “I worked as a CPA in an auditing firms in both North Carolina and California for 6 years. I was also a comptroller for a company in the retail industry for a year,” he explained.
The timing of this assignment is providential as Father Lincoln is completing an advanced degree from Catholic University that will serve him well in his new role.
“The Masters of Science in Ecclesial Administration and Management is a professional degree that prepares clergy for effective and efficient parish and diocesan leadership. The program’s goal is to take inspiration from the proven best practices established in the secular business environment and assist the clergy in applying these practices on a parish and diocesan level in order to manage day-to-day administrative responsibilities and to best respond to particular challenges and difficulties that might arise. Course content emphasizes various aspects of fundraising, the transparent management of financial resources, the organization and management of employees, and effective communication strategies with the dual aims of promoting faithful stewardship and fostering growth through evangelization.” explained Father Lincoln.
Father Lincoln became Catholic in 1992 at the Easter Vigil and immediately became a missionary. “I did not realize that my auditing and accounting background would be such a valuable resource for me as a missionary and as a priest,” he said. In fact, he said he tried to put aside his accounting experience when he became a missionary, but his skills were needed.
In addition to work with a food bank and soup kitchen as well as a healing center for in Canada, he worked extensively in Central and South America. “I was a lay missionary with the Comboni Missionaries in Borbón, Ecuador in a rain forest jungle,” said Father Lincoln. .
He is looking forward to continuing to work closely with Callahan on diocesan administration. “Carolyn and I have been working a lot with policies and procedures and structure and very defined – what people’s areas are,” he said. “I am very team-oriented, and I really want to emphasize that and work with the key people in a very team-oriented way and empower them in their ministries and our positions.”
Father Lincoln was ordained in 2008. He has served at Jackson St. Richard, Yazoo City St. Mary, Belzoni All Saints and Tupelo St. James.
“I am really humbled at getting this appointment. It is a surprise- nothing I expected. I need a lot of prayers from people and I will give it my best,” said Father Lincoln.