After the Fires, A New Rector for Kenwood

After the Fires, A New Rector for Kenwood

By Lori Korleski Richardson, Interim Communications Director

The Rev. Doyle Dietz Allen knows all about heat, having grown up in Texas, and coming from Tucson, Arizona, where she was called to be assistant to the rector at St. Alban's in 2013 after being ordained in the Diocese of Fort Worth. But soon after she agreed to be rector of St. Patrick's, Kenwood, in early October 2017, she got a call saying her new church was being evacuated because wildfires were spreading through the area.

It wasn't quite the warm welcome she was expecting. But as soon as she determined the call wasn't a hoax, she began calling the leadership of the 90-member congregation and tried to determine what she could do even before she was due to start.

She flew out as soon as the airport in Santa Rosa reopened, and boots on the ground, she assessed the situation (the buildings had escaped the fire, but would require substantial cleanup), gave what comfort she could to the three families in the parish who lost homes in fire, saw 15 houses with a real estate agent, and found a home for herself, her consultant husband Tom and their Siberian Husky puppy Kita in Oakmont, a community near St. Patrick's.

Her 20-plus years in the business world, both a staffing professional and running a crisis center for victims of  domestic violence and sexual assault that served seven counties in east Texas, have contributed to her calm demeanor in the face of chaos, and she feels she is now in precisely the right place.

"It is so beautiful here," she said recently, looking out from the café across the highway from the church. "It's the ideal blend of people who are really on fire for ministry, have skills developed over a lifetime and lots of energy." If anything, she'd like to focus some of that energy on fewer projects and greater development of relationships with the community "and with Christ."

Priest Doyle had never been to Northern California before visiting St. Patrick's when she interviewed in September. Now, she says with a hearty laugh, "I can't imagine living anywhere else!"

Please join us for her celebration of new ministry at 3 p.m. this Saturday, April 7, atSt. Patrick's, 9000 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. Clergy: white stoles.
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Bishop Barry Beisner has canonical responsibility related to bringing clergy to this diocese to serve our congregations. To that end, Bishop Barry and Canon Andrea McMillin work with applicant review committees and vestries during the discernment process: creating a parish profile that reflects the current situation and hopes for new leadership, recruiting and screening applicants, and guiding congregations in the healthy discernment and calling of new priests to our diocese.

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