Today Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop John C. Nienstedt as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. According to a press release from the Diocese of New Ulm, Archbishop Harry Flynn has indicated that he intends to invite the new coadjutor archbishop to share full leadership of the archdiocese.
In accord with Canon Law, the 60-year old Archbishop Nienstedt will share in the governance, administration, and pastoral ministry of the Church of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Archbishop Flynn will consult regularly with Nienstedt 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 absent or incapacitated. Archbishop Flynn, who has served as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis since 1995, will turn 75 on May 2nd of next year.
At the same time, the Holy Father has assigned Bishop Nienstedt to be the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm until another bishop has been named. Archbishop Nienstedt will have the same administrative, executive, and legislative power of a diocesan bishop.
Archbishop Nienstedt is a native of Detroit, born March 18, 1947 . He was ordained to the priesthood on July 27, 1974, at Sacred Heart Church , 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 12, 2001, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as the third Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota.
Upon hearing of the appointment Archbishop Flynn expressed his pleasure at the Holy Father’s decision. “I have known Bishop Nienstedt and have worked closely with him for a number of years and I am most pleased that he will be my eventual successor,” Flynn said in a press release. “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."