Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pope Francis appoints two new auxiliary bishops for Milwaukee

Image result for archdiocese of milwaukeeOn Wednesday the Vatican announced the appointment of two priests from Milwaukee – Fr. Jeffrey R. Haines and Fr. James T. Schuerman – to serve as auxiliary bishops for the archdiocese. 

The priests have been appointed titular bishops of Tagamuta and of Girba, according to a Jan. 25 Vatican communique.

With their appointment, the bishop-elects will serve under Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, who oversees the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and will replace Bishop Emeritus Richard J. Sklba, who retired in 2010 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In a press release on the appointments, Archbishop Listecki said it is a “proud moment for the Church in southeastern Wisconsin. By choosing two of our own priests as our new auxiliary bishops, the Holy Father has paid a high compliment to all the priests from this archdiocese.” 

“In these two humble parish priests, Pope Francis has chosen men with a pastoral heart who have deep spirituality, and men who have the confidence of the priests and people of the archdiocese,” he said.

Bishop-elect Haines, 58, has served as rector and pastor of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee since 2011. Born in the same city Oct. 6, 1958, he was ordained a priest May 17, 1985.

He then served at various parishes throughout the archdiocese and was elected moderator of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee three times. He is also currently a member of the College of Consultors.

“I am profoundly humbled by this calling, and keenly aware of my shortcomings,” Haines said in the press release.

He said he finds “strength and inspiration in the powerful presence and vitality of the Holy Spirit emerging in the implementation of our recent Archdiocesan Synod. I look forward to assisting Archbishop Listecki in fulfilling the pastoral priorities of this mission.”

Bishop-elect Schuerman, 58, is Pastor at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Geneva, and a Supervising Priest of Holy Cross Parish in Bristol. He was born in Burlington April 5, 1958, and ordained a priest May 17, 1986. 

He received a Master’s of Theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, after which he was selected for missionary service at the Archdiocesan sister parish, La Sagrada Familia, in the Dominican Republic. He served at the parish from 1992-1996, before returning to the U.S. to earn a doctorate in ministry, with a specialization in spirituality.

Schuerman then served as a spiritual director and faculty member at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary from 1997-2009, and continues to serve as an adjunct spiritual director for the seminary.

In addition to his native English, the bishop-elect also speaks German and is highly fluent in Spanish.

“I am deeply humbled by the Holy Father’s invitation to serve the faithful of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as Auxiliary Bishop,” he said in the press release, and asked for prayers “as I commit myself to this role of leadership and service.”

In the statement, Bishop Emeritus Sklba joined Archbishop Listecki and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee “in our expression of great joy as we learn of the Holy Father’s recent appointment.”

“They are both excellent pastors whose new ministry will be for us a great blessing for many years to come. My prayers are with them both.”

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