WALLINGFORD — Leadership turnover at Most Holy Trinity Church has resulted in two priests departing their posts and a new one joining the 10,000 member congregation.
The Rev. Jorge Castro resigned as Holy Trinity pastor and asked for a new assignment, Archdiocese of Hartford officials said. He was transferred to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Hamden and started on Wednesday.
The Rev. Kingsley Ihejirika, who served as Holy Trinity’s parochial vicar, is currently in his home country of Nigeria. Earlier this year, Ihejirika held fundraisers to build a medical clinic in Obike, Nigeria, which lacked a permanent clinic.
Upon his return, Ihejirika will move to St. Justin-St. Michael Parish in Hartford to assume an administrative position, archdiocese officials said.
Taking over as pastor is the Rev. Andres Mendoza Floyd, formerly the pastor of St. Katherine Drexel in New Britain. Floyd began on Tuesday.
Most Holy Trinity Church, at 84 N. Colony St., serves 3,675 families and 10,000 individual members.
It was among the few churches that did not close or merge with another church or parish during the reorganization of the archdiocese in June 2017.
Castro was assigned to Holy Trinity, where he had served as a vicar two years earlier, as part of the reorganization process.
During his yearlong tenure, Castro was credited with embracing the diversity of parish, which has a large Hispanic community and offers services in Spanish.
During a farewell party this month, Castro reflected on his accomplishments while declining to discuss specifics about his request for a transfer.
“I’m leaving knowing that I have a lot of friends here,” Castro said. “I did as much as I could for this community.”
He feels his legacy will be his hard work and dedication.
“They realize and learn that there is one church. Yes there are many languages,” but only the one faith to unite them.
He decided to leave Holy Trinity after prayer and consideration, Castro said.
“I’m leaving with the truth that everything I did was for the church,” he said.
Maria Zone, archdiocese spokesperson, said via email that transfers are “never easy, neither for the parish nor the priests.”
“They are all the more difficult in this time when the Church in the Northeast is struggling with the shortage of priestly vocations,” she added.
Jerry Farrell Jr., a former Wallingford town councilor who serves as parish historian and was on the church’s building committee, echoed Zone’s comments via email Tuesday.
“While we would all love our priests to stay with us forever,” Farrell said, ” there are only so many priests to go around.”
He added that he plans to help and work with Floyd.
“While I have admired each of the eight pastors I have worked with over the years at Holy Trinity,” he said, “and missed them when they were gone, my faith is in God, not necessarily in a person.”
According to a statement from the Archdiocese, Floyd probably will be the sole priest at Holy Trinity until a parochial vicar can be freed up from another assignment, due to the shortage of priests.
In the meantime, changes may be required in the schedule of daily masses and other parish activities.
Reporter Devin Leith-Yessian contributed to this story.
This story was edited to reflect an update in attribution of information from the Archdiocese of Hartford.