A 75th Birthday
On June 21, 2023 Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr turns 75 years old. This is an important day for him and for the entire Archdiocese. In accordance with the laws of the Church, he is required to submit his resignation (retirement) to Pope Francis. This doesn’t mean that he will cease being the Archbishop of Cincinnati, but we will have a new Archbishop in the coming months or years. Archbishop Schnurr will remain as the Archbishop of Cincinnati until his successor is appointed.
The general process is that once the Archbishop turns 75, potential successors will be identified and then a couple candidates are submitted to the Vatican for Pope Francis’s decision. This can be a lengthy process; there are currently many dioceses awaiting a new bishop. I would not expect a successor to be named in 2023. We will have to wait patiently for a new Archbishop to be named.
Please begin to pray for our new Archbishop. Even though we don’t encounter our Archbishop on a regular basis, his leadership is vital for the health and strength of our local Church. Please pray that Pope Francis appoints a faithful shepherd to our Archdiocese.
This also gives us an opportunity to thank God for the ministry of Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. In general, being an Archbishop is a thankless job. I once heard a priest say that part of the role of a bishop is to absorb the anger of the diocese (yikes!). Since 2010 Archbishop Schnurr has led our Archdiocese. He would be the first to admit that he hasn’t done this perfectly, yet he has attempted to serve as best as possible, being faithful to God and looking out for the good of the flock.
I believe the leadership of Archbishop Schnurr will be felt over the next 20 or 30 years. One of his great accomplishments has been the recruitment and formation of priests in our archdiocese. Although we have a number of priests nearing retirement, we will have sufficient priests to serve the People of God for the next few decades. Also during his tenure, our seminary had to expand, which is almost unheard of in the 21st century.
There are countless other things that could be mentioned and many things that most of us will never know. I can only imagine the unseen acts of kindness and generosity that he has done.
In gratitude for his ministry, I’d like to propose that we send him birthday cards. In that card it would be nice to mention if you prayed for him: maybe you could remember him at Mass, offer a rosary, a couple Our Fathers, or another of your favorite prayers. It would be nice to offer him a spiritual bouquet in honor of his 75th birthday and for his thirteen years as our Archbishop.
Please remember to pray for our next Archbishop. May he be a zealous shepherd who deeply loves Jesus Christ.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson