ALLOUEZ -- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Green Bay. The appointment was announced Sept. 28, the same day former Green Bay Bishop David A. Zubik was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
In a letter addressed to members of the Green Bay Diocese (read the entire text on page 2 of print edition), Archbishop Dolan said he expects local diocesan leaders to continue governing the diocese.
"The last thing I need is more work, so, believe me, I do not see my temporary role as all that time consuming," he wrote. "We ... are particularly grateful that we as a diocese have two wonderful bishops - Bishop Robert Morneau, the auxiliary bishop, and Bishop Robert Banks, our very active retired one, who are healthy, involved, and eager to care for the many sacramental, liturgical, and leadership duties requiring a bishop. Likewise, are we blessed with Fr. John Doerfler (chancellor) and Deacon Timothy Reilly (director of administration), whom I have asked to continue in their roles in the daily governance of the diocese under me."
The archbishop added that he expects a new bishop to be appointed "very soon."
In response to Archbishop Dolan's appointment as apostolic administrator, Bishop Morneau said he looks forward to working with the archbishop. "On behalf of the Diocese of Green Bay, I warmly welcome the archbishop as our administrator," he said in a statement issued by the Communications Department.
Deacon Reilly said he and Fr. Doerfler would work closely with Archbishop Dolan in continuing several major initiatives now under way.
"We have begun Wave III of our diocesan-wide Advancing the Mission Stewardship Campaign," said Deacon Reilly. "We are rolling out a three-year education plan for religious education and Catholic schools with the involvement of numerous diocesan-wide committees and all 160 parishes.
"We are fully engaged in the Faith Alive project for collaborative ministry in the Greater Green Bay Area. Catholic Charities is in the midst of the re-accreditation process. And we have implemented a balanced budget for the third consecutive year," he added.
Fr. Doerfler also said that there should be little or no interruptions in the diocese's day-to-day operations, including pastoral ministry support to parishes and schools. All major liturgical celebrations such as confirmations will proceed as scheduled and all diocesan boards of directors will continue to operate uninterrupted since their bylaws allow for an administrator to lead while the diocese is vacant.
Archbishop Dolan's first visit to Green Bay as apostolic administrator was Oct. 3. He was scheduled to meet with Bishops Banks and Morneau, as well as with Fr. Doerfler and Deacon Reilly, then lead a morning prayer service for members of the diocesan staff at St. Joseph Chapel. An opportunity for staff members to ask questions was to follow. He was also scheduled to visit St. Vincent Hospital and Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay.
Archbishop Dolan, 57, was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee on Aug. 28, 2002. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 1976, he served as an associate pastor for several years in Missouri before earning a doctorate in American church history from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
He served as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C., from 1987 to 1992, vice rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis from 1992 to 1994, and then was appointed rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. In 2001, on the 25th anniversary of his priestly ordination, he was named auxiliary bishop of St. Louis.
Archbishop Dolan is also author of "Priests for the Third Millennium," a collection of talks on the priesthood, published in 2000 by Our Sunday Visitor Press.
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