Archbishop Nienstedt assisting at Michigan parish

| January 13, 2016 | 11 Comments

Archbishop John Nienstedt is assisting in a parish in Battle Creek, Michigan, the parish announced in its Jan. 10 bulletin. The archbishop emeritus of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Nienstedt will be helping with various ministries at St. Philip Catholic Church for about six months, according to its pastor, Father John Fleckenstein, who wrote in the bulletin that he needs assistance at the parish for health reasons and to allow him to complete projects in his role as episcopal vicar for education for the Diocese of Kalamazoo.

Father Fleckenstein wrote that Archbishop Nienstedt “will celebrate some of the weekend and weekday Masses, visit the sick in the hospital, visit the sick and homebound, and celebrate Mass for the nursing home and assisted living facilities.” Archbishop Nienstedt may also celebrate Mass at other parishes in the diocese when their pastors are away.

“While the archbishop is not ‘assigned’ to the parish, I’m grateful he will assist us in these next few months,” Father Fleckenstein wrote, adding that in the summer Archbishop Nienstedt plans “moving on to a new ministry.”

A native of Detroit and former auxiliary bishop of its archdiocese, Archbishop Nienstedt was named coadjutor archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2007 and was installed its archbishop in 2008 upon the retirement of Archbishop Harry Flynn. Along with Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché, Archbishop Nienstedt resigned in June 2015 following criminal and civil charges brought against the archdiocese by Ramsey County on its handling of the sexual abuse allegations against a former priest.

Father Fleckenstein wrote that he has known Archbishop Nienstedt for about 20 years, since the archbishop was pastor of what is now the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Michigan. Archbishop Nienstedt will maintain an office at St. Philip and reside at the St. Clare House at St. Joseph, another Battle Creek parish.

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  • St. Donnan

    Although Nienstedt resigned, the Church persists in reporting that he his status is Archbishop Emeritus. I don’t know what Bishop Bradley was thinking by issuing a statement that claims this abuser is a priest in good standing. Why is he allowing this cancer of evil into the Kalamazoo Diocese? Yes, there is a shortage of parish priests, but who’s fault is that? I wouldn’t attend any mass celebrated by Nienstedt, and I encourage all St. Philip parishioners to find an alternate parish.

    • DebraBrunsberg

      Obviously you are not Catholic and if you must troll, please find another place to do it. People who comment under an alias and attack a man of God had best research what the Lord God has said about judging His chosen ones. There may be a cancer of evil somewhere, but it is not Archbishop Niendstedt. You might want to check a mirror.

      • David Gallagher

        Lifetime Catholic – living in Mendota Heights, MN – John Nienstedt abused his power – put a priest who had admitted molesting a child as our parish pastor – my CHILDREN served on his altar, unkowingly (re the molestation). John NIenstedt told the entire archdiocese – there are NO KNOWN credibly accused priests serving in our archdiocese. Good man or no?
        Jesus Christ would’ve taken a bullwhip to him.
        My mirror, reflects a decent human being who’d never hurt a child, or enable anyone else to – in fact, I like to think it reflects someone who’d use a bullwhip…….
        David Gallagher

        • 24HourMoisture

          Jesus would not have taken a bullwhip to anyone. Your comment does not even make sense.

          “My mirror, reflects a decent human being who’d never hurt…I like to think it reflects someone who’d use a bullwhip.”

      • Dominic Deus

        Well, its a sharp retort, but I don’t know that falls to the level of trolling. Just using an Avatar BTW doe not make a troll. Lots of people use a nom de plume–Mark Twain for example.

  • Jo

    Does former Archbishop Nienstedt still receive monthly payments from our archdiocese since his resignation after the archdiocese was criminally charged?

    Will these payments continue while he draws a stipend in Michigan?

    Where is the transparency of all of this the the faithful?

  • DebraBrunsberg

    I am glad that the Archbishop will be assisting with ministries. He is NOT an abuser. He inherited more than you can even imagine. Praise God for him. He is a holy and spirit filled Bishop and I would consider myself blessed to have him at my parish.

  • Charles C.

    Archbishop Nienstedt should be known and remembered for at least two particular traits. He is a faithful and holy man, and he is intellectually rigorous and sound.

    The idea that the Archbishop is not qualified for priestly service is silly. There are priests and bishops in the US from whom you should run if you want to save your soul, but he is not one of them.

    The nation and the Church are fortunate that he is serving the people of God. He is one of the jewels in the American Episcopacy.

    And thank you, Debra, for your strength and courage in defending a good man in a time when good churchmen are attacked for standing against a sinful world.

  • cyndy419

    I am also happy that the Archbishop will be helping.

  • 24HourMoisture

    Archbishop Emeritus Nienstedt has done a wonderful and courageous thing, as did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Both men did not let the worldly entrapment of power and authority entice them to get in the way of doing Christ’s Ministry. When these Men became more of a focus than the Holy Trinity, they lowered themselves voluntarily to remove themselves as a distraction. May we all be granted the grace to resist seeking worldly wealth, possessions, fame, and bodily gratification, that we may seek the Kingdom of God first.

    • J.F.Murphy

      This is the Jubilee Year of Mercy; may we all reflect Jesus’ Mercy to one another and know and share His Mercy and Love to one another trusting Jesus knows all of us as mortals who are trying to follow Him….reflect praying the Stations of the Cross…Jesus, I trust in You! May we all keep trying to do God’s will and console Him in these times of much evil His Grace ever more abounds!