Monday, November 24, 2014

Hying Into Chicagoland – Pope Ships Milwaukee's Don to Gary

Clearing off the top file on a drastically slimmed-down US docket, at Roman Noon this Monday the Pope named Bishop Don Hying, the 51 year-old auxiliary of Milwaukee, to lead Northwest Indiana's 200,000-member diocese of Gary.

In the church just around the Lakeshore from Chicago, Hying – seen above tending bar at a Catholic Charities fundraiser in July – succeeds Bishop Dale Melczek, the diocese's head of more than two decades, who now retires two weeks after his 76th birthday. Based in one of the nation's poorest, most violent cities, the Gary fold likewise comprises Indiana's Windy City suburbs.

Having been whisked past several more senior auxiliaries elsewhere – above all in Chicago – to receive a diocese of his own, the key to the move ostensibly lies in two of Hying's strongest suits. Given Northwest Indiana's long-significant and still growing contingent of Hispanics, both as farmworkers and in service labor, for three years between parish stints in Milwaukee, the nominee worked as a missionary pastor in the Dominican Republic.

On the other major front, after his return to Beer City and two pastorates, the future bishop formed the archdiocese's two largest ordination classes in recent memory (above) as rector of Milwaukee's St Francis de Sales Seminary from 2007-11. According to the Gary website, Hying's new charge currently has nine seminarians, including two transitional deacons.

A favorite of his former boss – now the cardinal-archbishop of New York – the appointment has the difficult side-effect of placing Francis' pick further from Mundelein, where he's studying for a D.Min.

Keeping with the norms of the canons, Hying must be installed within two months of this morning's announcement. As ever, more to come.