May 30, 2014 — (Wilmington, Delaware) — Rev. Christopher LaBarge, Associate Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Salisbury, Maryland and its mission church, Holy Redeemer in Delmar, Maryland, has been appointed by the Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, as the Pastor of St. Francis de Sales/Holy Redeemer, effective June 25, 2014. Fr. LaBarge replaces Rev. Edward Aigner who is retiring as of that date.
Fr. LaBarge was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on May 9, 1953. He attended Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware and the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He began studies for the priesthood at St. Francis de Sales College Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the Xaverian Missionaries and made his first profession in 1978. He graduated from the College Seminary in 1979 and began theological studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. As a Xaverian novice, he served in the missions in Sierra Leone, West Africa and studied Italian in Italy.
In 1982, he left the Xaverian Missionaries, was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Wilmington and transferred to St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1985, he was ordained as a diocesan priest by Bishop Robert Mulvee.
Fr. LaBarge served as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Marydel, Maryland and St. Luke Church in Ocean City, Maryland and as associate pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Church in New Castle, Delaware; St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington, Delaware; Holy Cross Church in Dover, Delaware; and most recently as associate pastor at St. Francis de Sales.
“I am pleased to be asked to serve as the twelfth pastor of St. Francis de Sales,” Fr. Labarge said. “It is an incredibly diverse parish and having been here for five years enables me to understand and build on that diversity. I am looking forward to working with the very competent staff and the wonderful parishioners here at St. Francis de Sales.”
Fr. Edward Aigner said, “When I was assigned to St. Francis de Sales Parish sixteen years ago, it was with fear and trepidation that I began to serve as pastor of such a large parish. I quickly found how blessed I was to be part of such an active and committed faith community. The generosity and involvement of so many parishioners was a great support to me and a real encouragement for my ministry. While I will not miss the responsibilities of being the chief administrator of the parish, I will certainly miss the people with whom I have ministered and come to know and love.
“My retirement will actually be a semi-retirement as I plan to give more time to prison ministry at Eastern Correctional Institution in nearby Westover and to help with sacramental ministry in neighboring parishes.” Fr. Aigner added, “I will rely on the prayers of parishioners as I begin this major passage in my life and I hope they know that I will continue to pray for all of them.”
More information about St. Francis de Sales and its many ministries is available at www.visitstfrancis.org.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 57 parishes, 18 missions and 30 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are over 233,000 Catholics in the diocese. Information about the diocese is available at www.cdow.org on the Internet.
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Contact: Bob Krebs