Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winona Begins the Windfall

Docket will rise again... from the bottom of the deck....


Opening what's expected to be a "significant" slate of Stateside appointments dropping over the next few months, in an unusual move, the Pope has named Auxiliary Bishop John Quinn of Detroit as coadjutor-bishop of Winona.

Home to 150,000 Catholics in Minnesota's southern tier, Quinn will assist and -- likely in short order -- automatically succeed Bishop Bernard Harrington, who reached the retirement age of 75 just 39 days ago.

(The last time a coadjutor was given to an over-75 ordinary, you ask? 'Round these parts, at least, seemingly not since mandatory retirement was first introduced four decades ago. In an apparent indicator of the docket's state in terms of priority and timing, the bottom of the (second-level) ordinary-replacement deck could, in this case, be better viewed as the top of the (lowest-level) coadjutor-request pile.)

A fellow native Detroiter -- where, among other posts, he served as auxiliary bishop and rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary -- Harrington has led the Winona church since 1999. A career pastor and professor at Sacred Heart, archdiocesan director for both justice and peace and religious education and Detroit's chief overseer of its mission in the Cayman Islands, Quinn, 62, was ordained a priest in 1972 and named an auxiliary to Cardinal Adam Maida in 2003.

Today's appointment reduces the number of incumbent ordinaries holding out for successors to 11; another seven of the US church's 195 dioceses remain vacant. As the ramp-up accelerates toward the 78 year-old Maida's retirement from the helm of the 1.5 million-member Motor City church, Quinn is the second Detroit auxiliary to clear out in 2008; last February, Bishop Earl Boyea was named to head the diocese of Lansing.

The coadjutor-elect already on the ground, the customary 10am press conference has been called, to be held at Winona's Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. In accord with the norms of the canons, Quinn's Mass of Welcome will take place there on 11 December.

SVILUPPO: And already, the formal statement...
In remarks prepared for delivery at an introductory news briefing, Bishop Quinn said he was “humbled by the Holy Father’s appointment, and delighted for the opportunity to serve the faithful of Winona.” Bishop Quinn commended what he called the “phenomenal job” done by his long-time friend, Bishop Harrington. “It will be a pleasure to serve with him again,” Bishop Quinn said.

For his part, Bishop Harrington acknowledged Bishop Quinn’s “magnificent pastoral skills,” and described him as “joy-filled person.”

“The Diocese of Winona is blessed to have Bishop Quinn as the new Coadjutor Bishop,” said Bishop Harrington. “He brings with him many talents. He is committed to Catholic Education. He is a strong supporter of the rights of the poor. He is a jovial, fun-filled person who will fit in very well here in the Diocese of Winona. God has blessed us with a great bishop of faith and humility.”

Bishop Quinn has served under Adam Cardinal Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Of Bishop Quinn’s appointment, Cardinal Maida said, “As a parish priest, educator, administrator, and auxiliary bishop, Bishop Quinn has always been helpful and hope-filled during his ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Among his many strengths, his relationship with and respect for his brother priests; among his many gifts, his love and care for the poor and marginalized. His commitment to Catholic education and evangelization is superior.”

“The Diocese of Winona is indeed fortunate to have Bishop Quinn as their next spiritual leader,” Cardinal Maida said. “Along with his many friends in the clergy and in the laity here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, I join in wishing him God’s blessings and many happy years of ministry as the next bishop of Winona.”