A who's who of the Catholic church is in Crookston today for the ordination of Michael Hoeppner as the seventh bishop in the history of the Diocese of Crookston. A Winona, Minn. native, Hoeppner, 58, succeeds Victor Balke, who retired in September after 31 years at the helm of the Crookston Diocese.
Thursday evening, Solemn Vespers were held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and Hoeppner, after singing the processional hymn, "The King of Love My Shepherd Is" near the baptismal font, was called forward by Archbishop Harry Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul.
During Thursday evening's service, representatives of various religious, Native American and Hispanic communities welcomed Hoeppner, and before the final blessing the representatives of the Native American communities offered the Blessing of the Four Directions.
Today's ordination began at 1 p.m, and a public reception was scheduled to follow at the Mount St. Benedict. In addition to Balke, dignitaries taking part include Bishop Bernard Harrington and 18 other bishops, Monsignor Roger Grundhaus, vicar general of the Crookston Diocese, and Archbishop Pietro Sambi from Washington, D.C., who serves as the pope's envoy in America. Crookston Daily Times