Detroit’s new auxiliary is a veteran Vatican archbishop and diplomat – Catholic World Report

Bishop Paul Fitzpatrick Russell. / Courtesy of

Vatican City, May 23, 2022 / 05:22 (CNA).

Pope Francis on Monday appointed an archbishop who has served as an apostolic nuncio to Central Asia as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The Holy See Press Office said on May 23 that Bishop Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, former Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, would retain the personal title of Archbishop of Novi in ​​his new position.

Archbishop Allen Vigneronwho led the Archdiocese of Detroit since 2009, said, “We are deeply grateful to Pope Francis for appointing Archbishop Russell as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and we are also grateful to Archbishop Russell for accepting this new ministry.” .

“We are especially happy to welcome Archbishop Russell to his home in Michigan, where he grew up and first heard the Lord call him to a priestly vocation. Having served the Church around the world, Bishop Russell brings to the Archdiocese of Detroit a valuable perspective of the universal Church and our mission to make all nations joyful missionary disciples.

Paul Fitzpatrick Russell was born May 2, 1959 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, but spent much of his childhood in northern Michigan.

He studied at Saint John’s Seminary in Boston and earned a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston on June 20, 1987.

He entered the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1997, serving in the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State, as well as in Ethiopia, Turkey, Switzerland and Nigeria, and as head of the diplomatic mission in Taiwan.

On March 19, 2016, Pope Francis appointed him Titular Archbishop of Novi and Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey and Turkmenistan.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley ordained Russell to the episcopate at the Cathedral of the Holy Name in Boston on June 3, 2016. Bishop Vigneron was co-consecrator.

Russell, who speak English, French, Italian, Spanish and German, was also appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Azerbaijan on April 7, 2018.

According to the website catholic-hierarchy.orghe resigned as nuncio to Turkey on October 22, 2021 and as nuncio to Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan on February 2 this year.

Russell is related to Blessed Michał PiaszczyńskiPolish priest who died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1940 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999.

The Detroit Catholic reported that Russell will become the 31st auxiliary bishop in the history of the archdiocese. He will serve alongside four other auxiliaries: Bishop Donald Hanchon, Archbishop Arturo Cepeda, Bishop Gerard Battersbyand Bishop Robert Fisher.

On October 9, Hanchon will be 75, the age at which bishops must present their resignation to the pope.

The Archdiocese of Detroit serves 1.1 million self-identified Catholics through 215 parishes in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Lapeer counties of Michigan.

Russell will be officially welcomed into the Archdiocese on July 7 during a liturgy at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

The 63-year-old Archbishop said, “I am so happy with Pope Francis’ decision to send me home and I look forward to serving as Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit and immersing myself in mission and local church ministry in Southeast Michigan.

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