Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Let There Be A Coadjutor: John Clayton Nienstedt of Detroit and New Ulm

(My kind of Crosier!)

As good as a Motu Proprio! But we could use that too.

More to come, but let's say right now that he is on the "Bishops with Spine" list!

Born 1947, more like one of the JPII Generation.

Ordained 1974, Detroit; Auxiliary Bishop, Detroit 1996; Bishop of New Ulm 2001

Biography from the New Ulm Diocesan Web Page

Bishop John Clayton Nienstedt was born March 18, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan. He is the son of Jack and Betty Nienstedt of Harrison Township and the second oldest in a family of six children. He has two brothers and three sisters. His parents are members of St. Paul Parish, Grosse Points Farms, and St. Hubert Parish, Harrison Township.

Bishop Nienstedt was ordained to the priesthood on July 27, 1974, at Sacred Heart Church, Dearborn, Michigan, following studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

Bishop Nienstedt holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sacred Heart Major Seminary; a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University; and a Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Institute of Saint Alphonsus, Rome.

His doctoral topic was “Human Life in a Test-tube; the Moral Dimension of In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo
Transfer.” [If that isn't one of the most important issues facing the Church today, I'll be a "monkey's uncle."]

In 1994, Bishop Nienstedt was appointed Pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower Parish,

Royal Oak, Michigan. Prior to that, he served for six years as Rector and President of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.

Bishop Nienstedt’s previous assignments include: Associate Pastor, Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson, Michigan; Priest-Secretary to Cardinal John Dearden; weekend Associate Pastor, St. Fabian’s Parish, Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington, Michigan; Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Detroit; service in the Vatican Secretariat of State; and Pastor, St. Patrick’s Parish, Union Lake, Michigan.

On June 12, 1996 Bishop Nienstedt was named an Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained a Bishop on July 9, 1996 by Cardinal Adam J. Maida, Archbishop of Detroit. Bishop Nienstedt served as Bishop for the Dearborn, Downriver, Monroe, Northwest Wayne, Southland, and Western Wayne Vicariates.

On June 12, 2001 Pope John Paul II named Bishop Nienstedt the Third Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota. He was installed on August 6, 2001.

On April 24, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop John C. Nienstedt as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm. [I would say that this a rather current biography; somebody must have been up all night!]

Curriculum Vitae
The Most Reverend John Clayton Nienstedt
Third Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota
December 31, 2006

March 18, 1947 Detroit, Michigan; second child of John C. and Elizabeth S. (Kennedy)

Two brothers: Richard T. Nienstedt (married, three children), and Michael L. Nienstedt (married, one child). Three sisters: Barbara Jean Buttell (married, two children), Mary Beth Nienstedt (single), and Corinne Mary Nienstedt (single).

Educational Degrees:

1969 Bachelor of Arts: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan
1972 Bachelor of Sacred Theology: Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
1977 Licentiate in Sacred Theology: Pontifical Institute of St. Alphonsus, Rome, Italy
1985 Doctorate in Sacred Theology: Pontifical Institute of St. Alphonsus, Rome, Italy
Doctoral Topic: “Human Life in a Test-tube: The Moral Dimension of In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer”


April 29, 1972 Ordained a deacon at the North American College, Rome, Italy

Aug. 1973 - Aug. 1974 Deacon intern at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn, Michigan
July 27, 1974 Ordained a priest at Sacred Heart Church, Dearborn, Michigan
Aug. 1974 - Feb. 1976 Associate Pastor at Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson, Michigan
1977 Weekend Associate Pastor at St. Fabian's Parish, Farmington Hills, Michigan
1977 - 1978 Part-time professor of Moral Theology at St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan
Feb. 1977 - July 1980 Priest-Secretary to Cardinal John Dearden, Archbishop of Detroit, Michigan
1978 - 1980 Weekend Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Sorrow's Parish, Farmington, Michigan
1979 - 1980 Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan
1980 - 1983 Assistant Chaplain to the Baby Jesus Hospital, Rome, Italy
1980 - 1983 Religious Instructor in First Eucharist Program at Marymont International School, Rome, Italy
Aug. 1980 - Aug. 1985 Minor Official of the Second Grade to the Vatican Secretariat of State, Rome, Italy
1981 - 1984 Chaplain to the Brothers of the Holy Cross assigned to Notre Dame High School for Boys, Rome, Italy
January 1986 - June 1986 Adjunct Professor of Moral Theology at the Orchard Lake Schools, Orchard Lake, Michigan, teaching a course on Human Sexuality
January 1986 - July 1986 Temporary Associate Pastor at St. Regis Parish, Birmingham, Michigan
July 1986 - June 1987 Pastor of St. Patrick's Parish, Union Lake, Michigan
July 1987 - July 1988 Designated Rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan
July 1988 - July 1994 Rector and President of Sacred Heart Major Seminary (both College and School of Theology), Detroit, Michigan
July 1988 - 2000 Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan
1992 - 2001 Chaplain to the Detroit, Michigan Chapter of Legatus
July 1, 1994 - 1996 Pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak, Michigan
Sept. 1995 - July 2001 Director of the Archdiocesan Medical-Moral Committee, Detroit, Michigan
June 12, 1996 Appointed Titular Bishop of Alton and Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, Michigan
July 9, 1996 Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, Michigan
August 8, 1996 Appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the South Region (88 parishes) of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan
June 12, 2001 Appointed Third Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota
August 6, 2001 Installed Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota


June 4, 1985 Appointed a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope John Paul II, bearing the title
May 26, 1990 Appointed a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II
May 15, 1994 Invested as Knight of the Holy Sepulcher
October 30, 2004 4th Degree Knights of Columbus [They'll be busting their buttons here!]

Professional Associations:

1977 - 1980 Member of the Medical-Moral Committee of the Michigan Catholic Conference for Catholic Health Facilities, Detroit, Michigan
1986-1991 Wranglers (Ecumenical Dialogue), Detroit, Michigan
August 1987 – July 2001 Member of the Archdiocesan Medical- Moral Committee, Detroit, Michigan
Sept. 1987 - July 1994 Midwest/Western Rectors' Conference
1988 - 1992 Participation in A.T.S. (Association of Theological Schools), International
Meetings, 1988 (San Francisco, California); 1990 (Montreal, Canada); 1992 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
June 1988 - 1997 Membership in Catholic Theological Society of America
Annual participation in M.A.T.S. (Midwestern Association of Theological Schools)
Annual participation in Association of American Colleges, 1990 (San Francisco, California), Topic: “Undergraduate Majors and the Claims of Liberal Learning”
July 1988 Participant in Warren Deene Institute for Management (I.T.E.M.), Harriman, New York
Jan. 1989 - June 1993 Trustee Committee on Academic Affairs, Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan
Jan. 1989 - July 1994 Board of Trustees, Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan
1989 -1994 Participation in N.C.E.A. (National Catholic Education Association) annual conventions, 1989 (Chicago, Illinois); 1990 (Toronto, Canada); 1991 (Boston, Massachusetts); 1992 (St. Louis, Missouri); 1994 (Anaheim, California)
February 9-10, 1989 Association of the Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Workshop for Theological School Trustees and Chief Executives, Cincinnati, Ohio
January 1-5, 1992 Participation in W.R.A.C.S./E.R.A.C.S. (Western/Eastern Regional Association of College Seminaries) Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California
Sept. 1993 - July 1994 Trustee Committee on Student Life, Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan
January 6-9, 1994 Participation in N.A.C.S. (National Association of College Seminaries) Annual Meeting, Brighton, Maryland
February 20-24, 1995 Member of the Visitation Team to the Theological College of the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee of Priestly Formation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
March 1996 Member of the Visitation Team to Mundelein Seminary (Chicago, Illinois) sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Formation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 2001 – Nov. 2002 Liaison for the National Advisory Committee for Catholic School Parental Rights Advocacy, USCCB
October 2001 – present Member of the Board of Trustees of The Saint Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota
April 2002 Chairman on the Visitation Team to Immaculate Conception Seminary (Huntington, NY), sponsored by the USCCB Committee on Priestly Formation
July 2005 – present Trustee of the Catholic Relief Society (Catholic Mutual Group)

NCCB/USCCB Committees:

1997 - 2001 North American College Board of Governors

1998 - 2001 Committee on Communications
1998 - present BCEIA/National Council of Synagogues Consultation
1999 - 2000 Nominations Committee for the NCCB
1999 - 2002 Committee on Science and Human Values
1999 - 2003 Committee on Education
2001 - 2002 USCCB Liaison to School Parents Advocacy Coalition
2001 - 2002 Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Formation, Chair-elect
2001 - 2005 Chair, Draft Sub-committee of Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Formation to write the 5th Edition of the Program of Priestly Formation
2002 - 2005 Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Formation, Chairperson
2002 - present Ad Hoc Committee on Catholic Health Care Issues and the Church
2003 - 2005 USCCB Committee for African American Catholics
2005 - 2006 USCCB Conference of Diocesan Coordinators of Health Affairs, Episcopal Liaison
2005 - present Committee to Plan for Special Assembly 2007
2005 - present Committee on Science and Human Values


November 17, 1987 “The Churches’ Response to AIDS,” Temple Beth El, Birmingham,
February 21, 1989 “Toward a Liberation Theology for the First World: The Preaching of Richard Rohr,” Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Detroit, Michigan
April 3, 1990 “Robert Bly on Maleness in the 90’s,” First Congregational Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan
January 8, 1992 Commentary on MCC (Michigan Catholic Conference) Document, To Let Live, To Let Die…, Address, to the Cardinal Club, Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan
February 26, 1992 Hesburgh Lecture Series, Address to the Notre Dame Club: “Response to the Reverend Michael Himes,” Birmingham, Michigan
October 29, 1992 “Durable Power of Attorney,” Address to Legatus, Detroit, Michigan
March 6, 1997 “Contemporary Moral Challenges,” Address to Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson, Michigan
June 26, 1997 “Project Life: A Response to the Culture of Death,” Address to the Detroit Chapter of Legatus, Orchard Lake, Michigan
September 28, 1997 “Preparing for the Jubilee 2000,” presentation to Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Orchard Lake, Michigan
October 5, 1997 “Forming a Right Conscience,” presentation to the Center for Faith and Action, U of D Jesuit High School, Detroit, Michigan
Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 1997 “Retreat on Prayer,” presented for the John Carroll Society, Washington, DC
October 28, 1998 “Teshuva and Repentance,” presented to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and National Council of Synagogues, New York, New York
November 6, 1998 “Challenges for the Year 2000 AD,” presented at Temple Shir Shalom, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
June 1, 2001 “The Sacred Heart,” Legatus, Detroit, Michigan
March 2002 “Is Conscience Enough,” St. Paul Parish, Nicollet, Minnesota and St. Mary Parish, New Ulm, Minnesota
September 3, 2002 “The Distinct Yet Related Parts of Seminary Formation,” St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Pennsylvania
November 24-25, 2003 “Priestly Identity,” Address to the Presbyterate, Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York

Conferences/Workshops Attended:

September 16, 1992 “How to be a Better Team Leader,” Detroit, Michigan

May 17, 1993 “Strategic Planning: A Vision for the Future,” Chicago, Illinois
March 8-19, 1998 “Jewish-Catholic Interfaith Journey to Israel and Rome,” Jerusalem and Rome


1994 “On the Wings of Healing Prayer: The Hospital Prayerbook,” Heliographs,
Ltd, co-authored with Rabbi Dannel Schwartz and Reverend Charles Richter
1999 “A Catholic Perspective on Forgiveness,” Catholic Near East, January- February 1999, pp. 27-29
2001 “Re-examining the ERD's on Cooperation,” Ethics and Medics, Vol. 26, No. 5, May 2001, pp. 1-2
2001 “Christ, the Divine Physician and Healer,” Linacre Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4, November 2001, pp. 358-360
2002 “The Distinct Yet Related Parts of Seminary Formation,” Origins, Vol. 32, Issue 20, October 24, 2002, pp. 336-338
2003 “Bioethical Challenges for the Church,” Origins, Vol. 32, Issue 41, March 7, 2003, pp. 676-682
2003 “Religious Bodies Challenge Minnesota Concealed Gun Law,” Origins, Vol. 33, Issue 7, June 26, 2003, p. 103
2006 “‘Facing Down the New Paradigm: The Family Planning Agenda of the United Nations’ ‘Millennial Goals’,” Crisis, Vol. 24, No. 3, April 2006, pp. 20-25
2006 “Drafting the New Program of Priestly Formation: A Labor of Love,” Seminary Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall 2006, 22-27



Terry Nelson said...

Ray, I have absolutely nothing to say except, see - just as I foretold - I told everyone it would be him.

Sanctus Belle said...

Ok, now everyone pray for the likes of this guy for Bishop Harrington's replacement in the Winona Diocese. Harrington is a good guy, I've heard him preach several times and have never heard one questionable thing come out of his mouth. He's good, but we need a saintly bishop here, seriously - the spine of steel type.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Aaron, er, Terry: You did? Wonder what Aquila's doing these days..

Anyway, wow, Ray!

I'd give real money to read/hear his presentations on Richard Rohr and Robert Bly.

Yes, Sanctus Belle, I'm still praying for the Diocese of Winona. I'm now praying for our brothers and sisters in the New Ulm Diocese too. They will need a new leader now.

Anonymous said...

You mean that Richard Rohr may not be able to speak at St. Thomas anymore? That may be the 2nd best news I have heard all day.

I think that Bp. Nienstedt wrote the letter on Marriage and Families that was signed by all the Minnesota Bishops - December 2005. That letter impressed me.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

That Robert Bly thingy caught my eye, too. I was wondering what that presentation might sound like? I don't know much of anything about him except that everytime I've seen him (RB) on PBS or something, I've thought, "Who's that pompous dork?" and "What a weenie" I know that isn't very nice, but that's what I thought at those times. Is he a poet or something?

Unknown said...

The Dioceses of Crookston, MN, and Superior, WI, in our neighborhood also need new Bishops also due to retirement.

So there big changes all over the place up here in the Northland, what with new Bishops in Sioux Falls, SD, and Sioux City, IA, a fairly new one in LaCrosse, WI, our brand new one in St Paul-Mpls and vacancies in New Ulm, Crookston, and Superior.

Bishop Dennis Schnurr in Duluth, Bishop Samuel Aquila in Fargo, ND, and Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, IA, are our only experienced shepherds.

Fr. Todd J. Petersen said...

As a priest of the Diocese of New Ulm and the Director of Vocations, I am saddened to lose such a great bishop like Archbishop Nienstedt! The Archdiocese is getting a truly great bishop!
Pray for the Diocese of New Ulm to be given another good Shepherd after the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.