What is a Vicar Forane?

Duties of the Vicar Forane

The canonical duties of the vicar forane are listed in canon 555 of the Code and are commonly classified under three aspects:  1) promotion and coordination, 2) vigilance, and 3) support and counsel.  His duty of promotion and coordination chiefly pertains to his responsibility to oversee and assist in uniting the other presbyters in his vicariate in a common pastoral activity.  This includes all aspects of ministry, including liturgical, catechetical, missionary, charitable, social, cultural, educational, etc.

His duty of vigilance ought to be understood in a pastoral sense, that is, a way of providing support and fraternal assistance to the other presbyters.  This would include assisting priests in matters such as ensuring that liturgies are beautifully celebrated, churches properly maintained, parochial registers accurately inscribed, and the funds of the parish carefully administered.

His duty of providing support and counsel includes taking the initiative to organize ongoing formation for the priests of his vicariate.  This formation would include theological lectures and spiritual retreats, often done in coordination with diocesan programs.  For priests who are sick, he is to supply them with spiritual aid and pastoral assistance, often in coordination with the Vicar for Priests of a diocese.  The vicar forane is also to visit all the parishes of his vicariate, assisting the local priests when needed.