Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Was Monsignor Schuler the last of the Monsignors?

Most of you reading this probably don't even know what a "monsignor" is, let along know how to pronounce it.***

But a geezer pal and I were chatting this morning, sadly, about the passing of Msgr (that's pronounced the same way "monsignor" is, youngsters) Schuler and what a loss it was to the Church (the Church Militant). And probably a gain for Heaven (the Church Triumphant).

Then we got to musing about how there didn't seem to be any other monsignors in the archdiocese.****

My pal was born in Sleepy Eye, in what is now the Diocese of New Ulm, where our new Coadjutor Archbishop, John Nienstedt, is Bishop now. There are lots of monsignors there, he noted. Fargo alone created seven new monsignors last Winter. Five priests were named monsignors in the Diocese of New Ulm in November of 2005.

It is up to a Bishop if he wants to request that the Pope designate priests as "monsignor", an honorary title of the Church.

Lots of organizations have honorary titles. The Minneapolis Police Department is probably still loaded with Inspectors and Sergeants; and the Fire Department has gobs of Captains. People deserve recognition.

There are lots of good priests in the Archdiocese of St Paul-Minneapolis. Rumor has it (Don't forget that your reporter hangs out incognito at Chancery lunching establishments like Frost's and Costello's) that the reason that we don't have "monsignors" here is that Chancery officials are afraid of offending those who wouldn't get those appointments.

If Fargo can have seven, and New Ulm can have five, surely we should have 30 or 40! Now that we will be having an Archbishop in a year or so who isn't afraid of making monsignors, look forward to seeing a lot of red on the cassocks and surplices of your pastors.

You say you don't see many cassocks and surplices these days? I bet you will in the future!

Thank God for Archbishop Flynn who has turned around this Archdiocese. And Thank God for Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt who will surely take it to higher levels!

*** Monsignor: See Wikipedia You don't believe Wikipedia; OK, then see the
Catholic Encyclopedia!

**** My apologies to the following: Msgr Aloysius Callaghan, who was not ordained in this diocese and is rector of the St Paul Seminary; Msgr William L Baumgaertner, Ordained 1946; Msgr Jerome Boxleitner, 1956; Msgr James Habiger, 1951; Msgr Patrick Hessian, 1953; Msgr Ellsworth Kneal, 1944; Msgr James Lavin, 1945; Msgr Richard Moudry, 1950; Msgr Robert Probst, 1945; Msgr Stanley Srnec, 1942; Msgr John Sweeney, 1941; and Msgr John Ward, 1945. God Bless You and thank you for your services to the Church!

I would say that those years of ordination prove my point. Few of those holy men are in active service today, I would imagine.


Adoro said...


Yeah..."Monsignor" is a title of respect, not someting trivial and "honorary."

Further, "Sergeant", and "Captian" and "Inspector" (aka "Investigator" or "Detective") denote actual promotional RANKS which involve higher honor, higher pay, better rank and position, and are earned through hard effort and solid results on the job.

The title of "Monsignor" should not be trivialized nor should the ranks denoting our paramilitary civil servants be somehow trvialized as a title that doesnt' actually have meaning beyond some arbitrary conveyed "honor."

Ray! Come on!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I agree with what (I think) Adoro is getting at: namely, that there should NOT be a vast amount of Monsignor's. It is a special title, worthy of prayerful discernment rather then just granting it to make more.

Of course, Adoro, could just be heckling you! Who knows? ;-)

Ray, is there a secret PO Box that your readers can send supplies of Miracle Gro too? We need to keep those ferns you hide behind at those restaurants on the Hill nice and lush.

Adoro said...

I know a recently elevated Monsignor who was at my parish for some time. He returned to India where he was elevated, and with the title was also made Vicar General of his Archdiocese.

I wanna know what disguise you wear when you go to the hang outs?

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Ray has rejected Mr. Terry's form of disguise, that being constant plastic surgery to confuse everyone. Instead, Ray, puts a fern in front of his face, seriously. So, if you are out at a restaurant and see a moving fern, be afraid, be very afraid...

Now, that I've told everyone, Ray may have to switch to another plant-perhaps a big jade.

Adoro said...

Maybe a sunflower?