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Archbishop Nienstedt’s New Assignment—UPDATED

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/14/16

The former head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, who resigned last year, is keeping busy: 

According to the January 10, 2016 bulletin of Saint Philip Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, Archbishop Nienstedt has found a job serving as an assistant priest at the parish, which is located in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. Per the Pastor’s Column, Nienstedt will have an office at the parish center, but will be living at the neighboring Church of Saint Joseph. His duties will include covering masses in the absence of the pastor, visiting the sick and homebound, and assisting with ‘various pastoral ministries’.

As the pastor notes:

I have known Archbishop Nienstedt for about 20 years since he was Pastor of Shrine of the Little Flower Parish in Royal Oak. (Now called the “National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica). He served there as Pastor from 1994-1996 and then was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit. From there he was named Bishop of New Ulm, MN and later the Archbishop of Minneapolis/St. Paul. After about six months, he anticipates moving on to a new ministry. If people need to reach him, he will maintain an office in the Seton Center (the one next to the Liturgy office) until his departure in the Summer. He will reside at St. Clare House at St. Joseph’s, but will have a temporary office in the Seton Center. We welcome him!

The archbishop left his last post under unusual circumstances, as you may recall:

Archbishop Nienstedt resigned shortly after a Minnesota prosecutor filed criminal charges against the St. Paul archdiocese of an alleged failure to report sex-abuse complaints. The archbishop had also been hit with charges of personal misconduct, which he strongly denied.

UPDATE: Another former bishop whose career ended prematurely, Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, also has a new job, also outside his previous diocese:

In December he began as chaplain of the School Sisters of Christ the King in the Lincoln, Neb., diocese, appointed to the position by Lincoln Bishop James Conley. Both his former and current dioceses announced the new role in their diocesan newspapers. While rumors have floated in Kansas City that Finn might also teach at the St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Neb., attended by several Kansas City seminarians, its rector, Fr. Jeffrey Eickhoff, told NCR that the bishop is currently not teaching, and at this point nothing further has been determined.

Photo: St. Philip Facebook page

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