July 9, 2015
Amarillo—Personnel changes affecting two priests and a deacon have been announced by Bishop Patrick J. Zurek.
Father Christopher Schwind is the new Parish Administrator at St. Mary’s Church, Umbarger and Holy Name of Jesus Church, Happy. He has also been appointed Chaplain and Director of the Catholic Student Center at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.
Father Roy Kafula is the new Parochial Vicar at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Pampa and at the Rufe Jordan Unit/Baten Transfer Facility at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), also in Pampa.
Deacon Phil Whitson has been reappointed as Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese of Amarillo.
All three appointments were effective July 1.
An Amarillo native, Father Schwind, 46, is a 1985 graduate of Alamo Catholic High School (now Holy Cross Catholic Academy), Amarillo. Father Schwind is a 1989 graduate of West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University) in Canyon, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Math and Physics.
After graduating from WT, Father Schwind entered the U.S. Navy, where he served for six years until 1995. Following his military service, he worked for Pantex for a number of years in the Engineering Department before he was employed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as a senior inspector.
In 2007, Father Schwind entered Assumption Seminary in San Antonio and received a Master’s Degree in Theology in May 2013. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 24, 2013 by Bishop Patrick J. Zurek at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Amarillo. For the past two years, Father Schwind served as Parochial Vicar at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Pampa. Since Aug. 29, 2013, he has served as Spiritual Chaplain for the Worldwide Marriage Encounter program in the Diocese of Amarillo.
Father Kafula, 38, is a native of Lusaka, Zambia. He recently graduated from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology at St. Meinrad, Indiana and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Amarillo by Bishop Zurek on May 23.
Deacon Whitson, 61, has been employed by the Diocese of Amarillo since 2001, first as Diocesan Comptroller and two years later, as interim Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2004 and his reappointment will mark his third term as diocesan CFO.
Deacon Whitson is a member of the seventh class of Permanent Deacons in the Diocese of Amarillo. He was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Zurek on June 4, 2011 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Amarillo.