As the symbolic staff called a crozier was passed to new bishop John LeVoir, 3,000 people in the New Ulm Civic Center responded with a standing ovation.
LeVoir, 62, became the fourth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm in a two-hour ceremony Monday.
He replaces John Nienstedt, who became archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis following 61⁄2 years as bishop in New Ulm.
Ceremony attendees began arriving at 12:30 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony, filling the civic center’s permanent seating area and much of the arena floor.
Marty Rossini of Stillwater was among those in attendance. He said parishioners from two Stillwater churches filled three buses to travel to Monday’s ordination and installation ceremony.
LeVoir served the Stillwater churches the past four years, and Rossini was a member of a church panel that chose LeVoir as pastor.
“He’s a super guy, and such a people person,” Rossini said. “Every morning he’d be at the front door of our school saying hi to the kids, and every afternoon he’d be at the door saying goodbye to them.”
LeVoir, a self-acknowledged baseball fan — which should serve him will in baseball-intensive New Ulm — is also a pretty fair golfer, Rossini said.
“The first time he played in a church tournament, he got a hole-in-one.”
LeVoir became a certified public accountant after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1971.
He obtained a master’s degree in theology in 1981, was ordained into the priesthood that year and has served in a succession of Minnesota parishes.
In an interview following his selection as bishop, he said he picked up ideas on how to help people be successful by observing how Minnesota Twins managers went about their business.
He said he was stunned to find the message on his answering machine of his selection to the New Ulm post because he always figured his assignment in Stillwater as a parish priest would be his last before retirement. Mankato Free Press