January 18, 2018 (Louisville, Kentucky) – Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. has appointed Reverend Martin Allen Linebach as Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Louisville, effective February 1, 2018. Father Linebach succeeds the Very Reverend J. Mark Spalding who has served as Vicar General since 2011 and who is being ordained and installed as the twelfth Bishop of Nashville on February 2, 2018. While serving as Vicar General, Father Linebach will generously continue as pastor of Saint James Parish in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
In making this appointment, Archbishop Kurtz said, “The Archdiocese has beenwell-served by three Vicar Generals since I became Archbishop of Louisville in 2007: Fathers B.J. Breen, Charles C. Thompson (now Archbishop of Indianapolis) and J. Mark Spalding. I am deeply grateful to all of them and extend special thanks to Bishop-elect Mark Spalding as he prepares for his new role as Bishop of Nashville. I look forward to working with Father Martin, who has great qualifications to serve in this role. He has benefitted from a variety of pastoral experiences, pursued advanced education in management and administration as well as liturgical studies and demonstrates a deep love of Christ and His Church.”
A Vicar General serves as a diocesan bishop’s principal deputy, able to administer a diocese in the bishop’s name in the event of an absence or illness of the ordinary. A Vicar General assists the bishop in many roles including conferral of the sacrament of Confirmation, representing the bishop at ceremonial functions and serving as a principal advisor on the Priests’ Council and the College of Consultors, as well as other boards and councils at the bishop’s request. A Vicar General must be a priest in good standing of at least 30 years of age with advanced training in theology. He must keep the bishop informed of important matters affecting the local Church, and he must endeavor to identify with the will and intention of the diocesan bishop in all areas.
A native of Louisville, Father Martin A. Linebach, 61, was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1987, by Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, O.P. Father Linebach served as associate pastor of Mother of Good Council Parish (1987-1990), Holy Trinity Parish (1993-1994), the Cathedral of the Assumption (1994-2001 and 2008-2010), and Saint Aloysius Parish in Pewee Valley (2006-2008). He served as administrator pro-tempore of Mother of Good Counsel Parish in 1990 and Saint Ignatius Martyr Parish from 2009-2010.
He was appointed as the Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations from 2006 to 2016, as pastor of Saint Patrick Parish from 2010 to 2014, as pastor of Saint Ignatius Parish, White Mills, Ky. and Saint Ambrose Parish, Cecilia, Ky. from 2014 to 2016 and as pastor of Saint James Parish in Elizabethtown, Ky. since 2014. Father Linebach also has served several terms on the Priests’ Council as well as the College of Consultors.
Father Linebach received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bellarmine University in 1978 and a Master of Divinity degree from the Theological College of the Catholic University of America in 1987. Father pursued post-graduate studies in liturgy and the arts at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1993-94. He earned a Master of Science in Organization Development from Loyola University, Chicago in 2002.
For information, call: Cecelia Price at 502/585-3291.