Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Winona's New Bishop

Yesterday morning's Vatican Information Services had this announcement in its "Other Pontifical Acts" section:

Appointed Bishop John M. Quinn, auxiliary of Detroit, U.S.A., as coadjutor of Winona (area 31,798, population 570,488, Catholics 131,280, priests 107, permanent deacons 20, religious 414), U.S.A.

Yes, Bishop John Michael Quinn of Detroit will become Winona's 8th diocesan bishop. This appointment is a bit odd, however. Bishop Harrington (our current bishop) turned 75 years old only 40 days ago. Of course, as is required by Canon Law, he submitted his letter of resignation, but as is customary, it was not accepted. Usually, bishops will stay on for some time after they turn 75. Which raises the question, "Why, then, did Bishop Harrington get a replacement so soon?" The short answer is because he had asked properly. Well, it's because Bishop Harrington had the foresight over a year ago to put in a request for a coadiutor bishop--someone who would be assigned while he's still bishop and then automatically take over whenever he retired.

Bishop Quinn was the answer. He has been a bishop for about five years, now. He has served as an advisor for the national council of the Saint Vincent de Paul society. He has a doctorate in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America and has been teaching at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit (one of my diocesan brothers has him in class right now, which makes it very interesting for him--he has his own bishop as his professor!). Bishop Quinn has celebrated the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. This past May, he also celebrated a Funeral Mass for 25 children whose aborted bodies were found in a dumpster behind an abortion clinic. He has served in the Archdiocese of Detroit's offices for Religious Education and for Justice and Peace.

Bishop Quinn is an Irishman through and through, with the white hair to prove it. He and Bishop Harrington have known one another for some time and speak very well of each other. Last night, the clergy and parish directors of the diocese gathered with both bishops for Evening Prayer and dinner. I had the opportunity to be present. It was a great evening. The new bishop has a good sense of humor, as well as humility. He asked that we help him get to know us and the diocese when he finally moves in on December 11. He wants to be able to travel the diocese to get to know us well. His only hope is that he can fill the shoes of his great predecessor, whom he is reluctant to follow for fear he will not "measure up."

From the look of it, he has nothing to worry about. He need only remain faithful, as Bishop Harrington has, and to love his people. Last night made clear that that is what he'll do. Thanks be to God for sending a good man, a good priest, a good shepherd to the Dicoese of Winona.

For more information, see the Diocese of Winona's webpage.


Anonymous said...

I live in Detroit and have had the opportunity to see Bishop Quinn interact with many different people, including young Meghan Salter and her family. You are a very lucky diocese!
God Bless you, and know that your new bishop is one of the best men around!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I had never heard of Meghan's story. (For those of you who haven't, I found it here.) I look forward to Bishop Quinn's arrival and beginning.

Anonymous said...

yea i have never heard of meghans story eather its very sad and good luck bishop quinn.

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