Thursday, December 04, 2008

From the Administrator's Desk

With Coadjutor Archbishop Dennis Schnurr's Mass of Welcome in Cincinnati on-deck for this weekend, earlier today the consultors of his former diocese tapped Duluth's chancellor and judicial vicar as its temporary overseer pending the arrival of the Minnesota church's ninth ordinary.

Ordained in 1988, Fr James Bissonette serves as a parish pastor alongside his chancery double-duty. With today's vote, the 48 year-old cleric joins Bishop Robert Hermann (St Louis), Msgr Martin Loughlin (Charleston), Frs Allen Humbrecht (Knoxville) and Michael Carr (Cheyenne) as elected diocesan administrators of vacant Stateside sees.

In the nation's other three bishop-less dioceses, Archbishops Roger Schweitz OMI of Anchorage (in Juneau), Thomas Rodi of Mobile (Biloxi) and Bishop Thomas Olmsted (Gallup) serve as apostolic administrators appointed by Rome, enjoying the full authority of a diocesan bishop over the vacant churches; by contrast, elected administrators are mostly constrained to day-to-day oversight and prohibited from making significant changes.