As many as 120 bishops from across the country are expected to attend a Mass on Thursday at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona to formally welcome the next bishop of the Diocese of Winona.
An overflow crowd is expected for the 2 p.m. service for Bishop John Quinn. A procession of bishops is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. The event will be broadcast live online at www.dow.org.
For people who want to get a head start on welcoming Quinn to the diocese, an arrival ceremony will be held shortly after his 4:12 p.m. arrival from Detroit on Tuesday at Rochester International Airport. The Lourdes High School pep band will play, and students from area Catholic schools will attend a brief ceremony. Participants are asked to arrive by 3:45 p.m.
Quinn, who turns 63 on Dec. 17 will serve alongside retiring Bishop Bernard J. Harrington, 75, during a transition period. So Thursday's Mass will not mark Quinn's formal installation as bishop; it's a ceremonial welcome to the diocese. However, there won't be a separate service when Quinn's official title switches from coadjutor bishop to bishop after the Vatican formally accepts Harrington's retirement. Quinn's title could change by late spring or early summer, said Diocese of Winona spokeswoman Rose Hammes.
Quinn, who was selected in October by Pope Benedict XVI, formerly was an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit, a position Harrington once held. Cardinal Adam Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit, who likely played a key role in both Harrington and Quinn's placements in the Diocese of Winona, is expected to attend the Mass on Thursday.
Quinn's arrival is significant because leadership changes typically happen once every 10 to 20 years in the Diocese of Winona. Quinn, who will be the diocese's eighth bishop, said in October that he plans to serve until the mandatory bishop retirement age of 75, or 12 years. Rochester Post-Bulletin