Bishop John C. Nienstedt Named Coadjutor Archbishop of Archdiocese

Pope Benedict XVI today named Bishop John C. Nienstedt of New Ulm as Coadjutor Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

As Coadjutor Archbishop, he will share administrative and pastoral responsibilities with Archbishop Harry J. Flynn who has served as Archbishop of the Archdiocese for the pasts 13 years.

Welcome ceremonies will be held at a date to be announced soon. They will feature a welcoming Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Paul that will be open to the worshipping public.

Bishop Nienstedt is a native of Detroit, and was born on March 19, 1947. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1974 at Sacred Heart Church in Dearborn, Michigan.

On June 12, 1996, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Alton and Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and ordained as Auxiliary Bishop July 9, 1996. On August 8, 1996, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the south region of the Archdiocese, serving 88 parishes.

On June 1, 2001 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as the third Bishop of New Ulm, Minnesota.

Commenting on the selection of Bishop John C. Nienstedt as his eventual successor, Archbishop Flynn said, “I have known and worked with Bishop Nienstedt for a number of years and I am most pleased that he will be my eventual successor. He is a spiritual leader who is dedicated to the teachings of The Church, is a student of moral theology, a fine administrator and a leader who inspires others to match his high degree of devotion and service to the laity and to our priests.”

The Holy Father has also assigned Bishop Nienstedt to be the apostolic administrator to the Diocese of New Ulm until another bishop has been named to succeed him. Archbishop Nienstedt will continue to have the same administrative, executive and legislative power for the new Ulm Diocese that he has had for the past six years.

Role of a Coadjutor Archbishop

A Coadjutor Archbishop shares with the Archbishop the governance, administration and pastoral ministry of an archdiocese. An Archbishop consults regularly with his Coadjutor on important matters regarding the archdiocese. A Coadjutor Archbishop immediately succeeds the local archbishop upon his resignation and automatically takes his place if he is place if he is absent or incapacitated.

Archbishop Flynn has indicated that he intends to invite the new Coadjutor Archbishop to share full leadership of the Archdiocese.