.- This morning the Holy Father named Bishop Robert James Carlson of Saginaw, Michigan to be the ninth archbishop of Saint Louis. Bishop Carlson will fill the spot left vacant in June 2008, when Archbishop Raymond Burke was appointed to head the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court.
Over the past several months, the archdiocese has been under the administration of Bishop Robert J. Hermann who, in a press release, called Archbishop-elect Carlson “a very energetic, articulate, warm and gifted pastor and administrator. He thinks and works with the Church he loves, and will continue to build upon the legacy of his predecessors here in St. Louis.”
Bishop Hermann also praised Bishop Carlson’s successes in Saginaw saying, “he has raised the number of seminarians from two to eighteen! He has published six pastoral letters, and has created the Saginaw Area Catholic Schools system. He is very dedicated to Life issues. I am most deeply impressed with his energy and zeal for evangelization. I eagerly look forward to working with and for him.”
Archbishop-elect Carlson was born in Minneapolis in 1944. He was ordained a priest in 1970 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and in 1983 was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese. In his 25 years of episcopal service he also served in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, where he was first appointed as the coadjutor bishop, later becoming the bishop. On December 29, 2004, Bishop Carlson was appointed the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw.
In a statement today, he spoke to the faithful of Saginaw, saying, “I am grateful for having had the opportunity to worship, pray, and serve with the dedicated priests, religious, deacons, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Saginaw during the past four years.”
“I have been privileged to call mid-Michigan home and blessed to have been a part of this dynamic and generous local church.”
Bishop Carlson’s installation ceremony in Saint Louis has not yet been set.
As archbishop, Bishop Carlson will serve 566,000 Catholics and 737 priests.