Today, May 21, Father Randy Dollins, 37, pastor of the Summit County parishes, begins his new role as moderator of the curia and vicar general for the Denver Archdiocese. He will also remain director of continuing formation for priests. Last week, he spoke with the Denver Catholic Register about his new role.
Q: What is the job of the moderator of the curia?
A: The word curia comes from the French term for “court.” People can have the idea of a king who has a court. In the same respect, a bishop has a court, which is all the people who run the kingdom. In this case it’s the kingdom of heaven. This is someone who helps keep all of those different offices coordinated.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about your new role as moderator of the curia?
A: I like projects and challenges. I was given a list of 10 high priority projects that we’re to tackle over the next year. That kind of thing raises my level of enthusiasm because I like to rise to challenges. There’s a quote I really like by John Steinbeck about the nature of man: “It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.” There’s a lot that’s expected, but I think that’s how we get the best out of someone, to have great expectations of them.
Q: What do you find most daunting about your new role?
A: I think just the scope of it. It took us eight revisions to write the job description. It looks daunting!
Q: What is a vicar general and how many of them are in the Denver Archdiocese?
A: There will be only one, but you can have more than one if the need is there. Typically the moderator of the curia is made a vicar general but it’s not necessary. Vicar comes from a Latin word that means “substitute.” The diocese is bigger than the bishop can actually minister to so he has different vicars for specific ministries. The vicar “general” is like a Swiss Army knife: he substitutes for all potential ministries the bishop might need a substitute for when he can’t do something or be present.
Q: What is your favorite pastime?
A: I like to ski. I’m moving from ski country, but the Knights of Columbus and my parishioners bought my ski pass for next year! I’m not a huge baseball fan but I love going to Rockies games. Also, I have this thing I call “book starters syndrome” where I start a bunch of books but I don’t necessarily finish them! (Laugh)
Q: What might people be surprised to know about you?
A: Before I entered seminary I was a graphic designer for a sportswear company.
Q: What led you to leave graphic arts and enter priesthood formation?
A: I was always involved at my home parish, which is Queen of Peace (in Aurora). I was a volunteer youth minister assistant at 20 or 21. I was the product of an active youth group and youth ministry program and I continued as a young adult leader. Graphic design was something I enjoyed and it paid the bills but it didn’t satisfy the heart. As it turned out, there’s plenty of design work to do in the Church (laugh). I did the shield modification for the Archdiocese of Denver logo.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: The mission of the Church is to evangelize the world. One of the tasks for my role is to help make sure that the enthusiasm, the fire, for evangelization is stoked. Enthusiasm means “filled” or “possessed” by God. That will be a focus for me.