After the Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Benedict appointed Bishop Jerome Listecki to head the Catholic Church in Milwaukee, Archbishop Timothy Dolan—who led that archdiocese until last February—said, “Today my prayer is simply: thank you Lord!”
Bishop Jerome Edward Listecki, who served as the bishop of the dioceses of La Crosse, Wisconsin until this past Saturday, was named by the Pope as the 11th Archbishop of Milwaukee.
In a statement released on Saturday, Archbishop Dolan responded to the naming of his successor by saying, “for the last nine months, since my appointment as Archbishop of New York, I have daily asked our Lord to send a happy, holy, humble new archbishop to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.”
“Pope Benedict has chosen wisely,” Dolan remarked.
Archbishop Dolan also offered an apology of sorts: “sorry, Jerry, that I did not leave the archdiocese in better shape, but I was counting on being there a lot longer!” He also praised the faithful in his previous flock, stating, “you've got some of the greatest clergy, sisters and people in the Church...and now they've got one of the best archbishops anywhere!”
Archbishop-elect Listecki also issued a statement on Saturday in which he said, “I am humbled by my selection as the Archbishop of Milwaukee. I will do my best to fulfill the confidence His Holiness Benedict XVI has placed in me.”
Born and raised in Chicago, Archbishop-designate Listecki attended school locally and eventually began his graduate studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1975. A few years later, he attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, earning a doctoral degree in Canon Law. Fr. Listecki was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of La Crosse by the late Pope John Paul II in 2000 and was ordained a bishop in 2001.
Speaking on archbishop-designate Listecki's appointment, Cardinal Francis George offered “heartfelt congratulations,” and said, “we congratulate, as well, the Catholics and all the citizens of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin as they prepare to welcome a shepherd who will love them and guide them in the name of Christ.”