Milwaukee bishops praise Dolan, bid him farewell

Bishop Richard Sklba / Bishop William Callahan
Bishop Richard Sklba / Bishop William Callahan

.- Following the announcement that Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy Dolan will become the new Archbishop of New York, the two Milwaukee bishops who served under him are speaking of his warm personality and commitment to Christ, as well as assuring him of their prayers.

Auxiliary Bishop William P. Callahan noted that while Archbishop Dolan will be greatly missed, “His deep faith and warm, personal charm will offer a new luster to the Church in New York.”

Bishop Callahan also addressed Catholics in Milwaukee, encouraging them to move forward saying: “We here, in southeastern Wisconsin, must remember to effectively live the Gospel message with all the same joy and enthusiasm that Archbishop Dolan offered to us by his tremendous example. The true sense of what he leaves as his legacy is best framed in the living of life, not just thinking about what he did. The true sense of his work among us is living what he taught us to do: Cast out to the deep, be bold in living the mission of Jesus Christ; and never tire in doing the work of Jesus and His Church. So, we all move forward as Christ gives us grace to do.”

Richard J. Sklba, another auxiliary bishop from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee described Archbishop Dolan as a pastor who loved priests and people with all his heart. “He has brought his pastoral heart to so many families in moments of weakness or worry, great comfort to the sick and infirm and joyous laughter to everyone. My congratulations go to the Church in New York, and my prayers that this new challenge will be filled with blessings for him and for all whom he will come to love and serve!”

The spokesperson for the Milwaukee archdiocese, Jerry Topczewski, described the archbishop as a “true gift” to the archdiocese.” 

“Good and faithful stewardship teaches us to be grateful to God for the gifts He has given us and to joyfully share those gifts with others, so now we share Archbishop Dolan, with the Archdiocese of New York,” Topczewski said.

Still, he continued, “it’s hard to do so joyfully when you are so incredibly sad to see him leave. Nonetheless, we send Archbishop Dolan to New York with our prayers and best wishes. We will miss him, yet we give glory to God for his time in Milwaukee, and now we prayerfully await the Holy Father’s appointment of the 11th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.”

In a letter issued to the priests and archdiocesan staff members, Archbishop Dolan expressed his sorrow at leaving Milwaukee, but noted his excitement for his new appointment.

“I am honored by this appointment, as I was by my appointment as Archbishop of Milwaukee, deeply grateful for the confidence of Pope Benedict XVI, and filled with hope as I anticipate serving the historic, vibrant Archdiocese of New York.

“Yet, I must admit sadness in the prospect of leaving you. In my brief six-and-a-half years as your pastor, I have come to know, love and appreciate you very much. I am at home here. It will be very tough to leave,” he said.

Archbishop Dolan has served as the Archbishop of Milwaukee since 2002 and will be installed as the Archbishop of New York on April 15, 2009.

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