Dozens of parishioners rally to show support of priest awaiting transfer
Local parishioners are upset with the Archdiocese of New York's decision to transfer a priest from White Plains to Harlem.
Parishioners gathered outside of Lady of Sorrows Church in White Plains to share their thoughts on Father Timothy Wiggins’ transfer.
"He is not from Harlem. He is a Westchester County resident, and he deserves to stay here,” said one parishioner.
News 12 is told the move comes as a surprise. Wiggins will soon be transferred to a parish in Harlem to fill a vacancy.
The priest has served Our Lady of Sorrows church for six years – five years as a weekend associate and one as an administrator.
Parishioner Bob Zaragoza is one of the people hoping for a miracle, saying in part, “We don't want him to leave. It's very simple. But the church...doesn't understand that. This is a business, you're taking away our leader. If we were in the military, that's our general.”
Along with serving as a priest, Wiggins also teaches theology at Archbishop Stepinac High School and Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School.
The archdiocese says Wiggins willingly accepted the assignment in Harlem. It issued a statement to News 12 saying in part, “We wanted an archdiocesan priest to take this assignment, and Father Wiggins, who served there as a seminarian, was the best and logical choice to be appointed the new pastor.”
Parishioners at the White Plains church say they will continue to petition the archdiocese to allow Wiggins to remain in Westchester.
The new priest serving Our Lady of Sorrows will be Father Thomas Collins who is also the president of Stepinac High School.