Welcome to new personnel to the Office of the Tribunal

GAYLORD, MICHIGAN – The Most Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh, bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, has announced the following appointments, effective March 14, 2024:

  1. Reverend Benedetto J.J. Paris, JCL – JUDICIAL VICAR
  2. Mr. Joseph R. Gehret, BA, JCL – DEFENDER OF THE BOND
  3. Msgr. Mark A. Plewka, JCL – JUDGE

Along with the Tribunal Director, Dr. John R. Amos, JCL, Bishop Walsh extends his gratitude to Rev. Paris, Mr. Gehret, Msgr. Plewka and Very Rev. Moll for taking on these important roles. Rev. Matthew Furgiuele, JCL; Rev. Peter Eke, JCD; and Lori Luckett will continue in their respective roles.

These additions to the Tribunal staff were necessitated by the death of Rev. Daniel A. Smilanic, our former Judicial Vicar who was a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Fr. Paris is a priest of the Diocese of Marquette and will serve in the same capacity as did Fr. Smilanic. Mr. Gehret is a layman in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Msgr. Plewka is a priest in the Diocese of Pueblo.

Together, our diocesan Tribunal staff will continue to serve and fulfill the following mandate:

A tribunal, which is the official ecclesiastical court of the Catholic Church, is established in each diocese by the bishop to assist him in carrying out his responsibility as shepherd of the local Christian community which has been entrusted to him (1983 Code of Canon Law canons 369, 1419). As the judicial arm of the bishop, a diocesan tribunal cooperates in his ministry, namely, "the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law of the Church" (canon 1752).