Sprite 26.gif (16838 bytes)       

Front Page

A brief history of St Patricks




Questions about this
WebSite? Mail here

Times Press Staff

Reactions were optimistic locally on the naming of a new archbishop for the Milwaukee Archdiocese by the Catholic Church Tuesday.
Timothy M. Dolan, an auxiliary bishop in St. Louis who had headed the American seminary in Rome, was named by the pope in Vatican City today to succeed Rembert Weakland as Milwaukee archbishop.
He is the 10th archbishop to head the archdiocese since it was formed. "I'm delighted we have a new shepherd for our people," said Rev. Michael Petersen, associate pastor at St. Frances Cabrini Church in West Bend. "I just heard about it in Mass (Tuesday) morning," he said.
The Save St. Patrick's group, which had been sparring with Weakland since his decision to close the town of Erin church and merge the parish with St. Kilian in Hartford in 1999, is thrilled with Dolan's appointment.
"Does it get any better for the parishioners of St. Patrick Church of Erin than Archbishop Timothy Dolan? We're very, very happy," said Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel, spokeswoman for the group.
Today, the group will mail a letter to Dolan asking to talk with him about the possibility of reopening St. Patrick's as a parish, Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel said. The group has had the letter written for nearly three months and is pleased to be able to address it to Dolan.
"He was in my top-three list," she said. "He is going to be faithful to the holy father."
Pope John Paul II accepted Weakland's resignation May 24 - a day after he acknowledged paying a $450,000 settlement to Paul Marcoux, a former Marquette University student who said Weakland sexually assaulted him in 1979. Dolan, 52, served five years as secretary to two papal delegates to the United States in Washington, D.C. From 1994-2001, he served as rector of the Pontifical North American College, an elite seminary in Rome for men selected by their bishops.
He left that post upon his appointment to St. Louis. Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the Milwaukee Roman Catholic Archdiocese, said Dolan was in Milwaukee today appeared at a news conference.
''We look forward to his spiritual and pastoral leadership and his perspective on issues facing the church in southeastern Wisconsin,'' Topczewski said. Weakland, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in April, has denied he abused Marcoux, but acknowledged they had an ''inappropriate'' relationship. He made a public apology in the matter for what he said ''the scandal that has occurred because of my sinfulness.''
In other developments, the archdiocese announced it will hold three town hall meetings this week to address sexual abuse of minors by priests. Unlike the six listening sessions held around the archdiocese last month, including one in West Bend, staff members from four archdiocesan departments and the chancery office will be available to answer questions. Archdiocesan officials acknowledged many people were disappointed to discover that the listening sessions were designed to record their opinions but not to answer their questions.