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Archbishop Schnurr assumes leadership

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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati since Oct. 17, 2008, has succeeded the Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk as archbishop, becoming the 10th ordinary (presiding bishop) of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati since its founding in 1821.

The move follows Pope Benedict XVI’s acceptance today of Archbishop Pilarczyk’s resignation, which he submitted on his 75th birthday, Aug. 12, 2009, in accord with church law. He had been archbishop for 27 years, longer than any other currently serving archbishop in the United States. 

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Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr (CT/Mark Bowen)

“One year ago, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed me coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati, I was humbled and honored,” Archbishop Schnurr stated. “Today, after having had the opportunity to visit so many of our parishes, schools, and other institutions over the past months, I feel even more grateful and privileged. The welcome has been overwhelming, and I look forward to working with our priests, deacons, religious and lay people in building upon the solid foundation of faith that is so evident in our communities.”

He will be available to answer questions from the media at a news conference at 12:30 p.m. today at the Atheneaum of Ohio/ Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, 6616 Beechmont Avenue, Anderson Township, in the Westerfield Room.

Archbishop Schnurr, 61, brings to the leadership of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati a distinguished background as a canon lawyer, diocesan administrator, member of the papal nuncio’s staff, organizer of the first World Youth Day and general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Iowa native was bishop of Duluth for seven years until being appointed coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati. In the past year he has maintained a heavy schedule of activities taking him to all corners of the 19-county Archdiocese as he has gotten to know his new flock.

Archbishop Pilarczyk, a native of Dayton, Ohio, was the longest currently serving active bishop in the United States, as well as the longest-tenured archbishop. He is a nationally known churchman who was president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1989 to 1992.

He has written more than a dozen popular books and many pamphlets and articles. His commentary on the daily Mass readings is heard on Catholic radio stations around the country, on the Sirius/XM Satellite network, and online at http://franciscanradio.org/sharingtheword/. In retirement from administration he will continue to live in Cincinnati and celebrate the sacraments. 

On the occasion of Archbishop Schnurr’s taking possession of the See of Cincinnati, Archbishop Pilarczyk said the Archdiocese “is blessed to be getting such a skilled, dedicated and spiritual pastor.” “FLOREAT,” Archbishop Pilarczyk added. “May he flourish.” 

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 26th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the eighth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment.  It includes 218 parishes and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

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