Friday, May 2, 2008

It's Official: Archbishop John C. Nienstedt is the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis


FROM: The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

CONTACT: Dennis B. McGrath

Director of Communications





SAINT PAUL, MN, MAY 2, 2008 -- Archbishop John C. Nienstedt, 61, officially assumed the duties of Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis today, following the retirement of Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, who has led the Archdiocese since February of 1995. Archbishop Flynn was notified by the Vatican that his resignation was official on May 2, his 75th birthday and the normal age of retirement for archbishops.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed then Bishop Nienstedt to the post of Coadjutor Archbishop on April 24th of last year. A coadjutor archbishop essentially serves in a familiarization role until the sitting archbishop retires. Nienstedt had served the prior six years as Bishop of New Ulm, Minnesota.

A native of Detroit, he was ordained in 1974 following studies at Sacred Heart Seminary there and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He served as associate pastor or pastor of numerous Detroit area parishes and as rector of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. In June of 1994, he was named an Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit by Pope John Paul II. He served as bishop for the Dearborn, Downriver, Monroe, Northwest Wayne, Southland and Western Wayne Vicariates, before becoming Bishop of New Ulm in 2001.

Archbishop Flynn, who leaves office highly regarded for his leadership in the local Church as well as for being as a major voice on social justice, immigration, health care reform and racial equality issues, will continue to reside in Minnesota.

“I am grateful to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, for his confidence in naming me Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis,” Archbishop Nienstedt said. “It is a tremendous responsibility for pastoring the people of God now assigned to my care. I ask for the prayerful support of both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

“I especially wish to congratulate Archbishop Flynn on his 75th birthday and thank him for the wonderful witness to Jesus Christ that he has given here for almost 14 years,” Nienstedt continued. “I am so grateful that he is planning to stay in the local area and be available for consultation. I know I can stand tall on the shoulders of Archbishop Flynn and his predecessors.”

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis serves a Catholic population of more than 650,000 who worship in 218 parishes throughout a 12 county area. It also encompasses two of the nation’s largest Catholic universities, a major and minor seminary for the training of priests, 16 Catholic high schools, 100 Catholic elementary schools, a combined total of 37 hospitals, elderly residences and nursing homes and Catholic Charities of the Twin Cities, which is second only to the government as the major provider of charity, housing and human services in the Twin Cities.


Please pray for Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Harry Flynn who has served us so wonderfully. May he have a blessed, peaceful and productive retirement. And we hope to see him around for many years to come.

And please pray for our new Archbishop Nienstedt. There are folks out and about that want to greet him and some of them have motives not related to feelings of love and respect.

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