Pope Francis appointed Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, as the 11th bishop and 10th archbishop of St. Louis and has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.
Bishop-designate Rozanski, 61, has served as head of the Diocese of Springfield since 2014. He previously served as a priest and auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, made the announcement in Washington June 10.
The Mass of installation for Archbishop-designate Rozanski’s Mass is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 25, the feast of St. Louis.
Archbishop Carlson turned 75 in June 2019, the age at which bishops are required to submit their retirement to the pope. He will continue to serve the Archdiocese of St. Louis as apostolic administrator until Archbishop-designate Rozanski is installed.
Archbishop-designate Rozanski’s early biography:
He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 6, 1958. He and his family lived in Fells Point, Maryland, and attended Holy Rosary Parish. He is the oldest of three sons to Alfred and Jean Rozanski.
When he was eight years old, the family moved to Dundalk and the parish of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Graceland Park, where he attended the elementary school. He is a graduate of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School (Essex) and the Catholic University of America. He attended the Theological College at the Catholic University of America, where he received seminary training.
He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on November 24, 1984. He served as an associate pastor and later pastor at several parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for 20 years.
The path to becoming a bishop:
On July 3, 2004 he was named by Pope John Paul II as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and was ordained bishop on August 24, 2004. At the time of his ordination as a bishop in 2004, he was the youngest bishop in the United States.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Rozanski as head of the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts on June 19, 2014. He was installed on August 12, 2014, by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap.
A word on his episcopal motto:
Archbishop-designate Rozanski’s episcopal motto, “Serve the Lord with Gladness,” comes from Psalm 100. He wanted an action word that would serve as a reminder of living the faith in concrete ways.
“If we do live our faith concretely in serving the Lord, then we will certainly have hearts that are joyful. It means that if we put our faith into action, and we live the Lord’s words, then we’re joyful.”
Archbishop-designate Rozanski on his pastoral experience:
Being a parish priest brought its challenges and joys, but what was important was building relationships and maintaining communication with the people he served. As a bishop, he sees himself still having the heart of a parish priest, but now his parish territory is a little big larger.
“Parish priests are graced to be with people in such moments of their lives — weddings, baptisms, funerals, and that really establishes a relationship. I miss those relationships I had as a parish priest … but it’s also taught me that being a bishop does not mean being removed from that sort of interaction of ministry, of being involved in the lives of people and reaching out.”
His family’s reaction to his appointment as Archbishop of St. Louis:
His recalls what his mother, Jean, said to him, “I told you this when you were named a bishop, I told you this when you named to Springfield, and I am telling you this again: Don’t get a big head. Always be humble.”
Married for 63 years, his parents have been his “rock” and “stronghold,” adding that they have “always shown love to us a deep faith and love for the Church.”
Archbishop-designate Mitchell T. Rozanski
BORN: Aug. 6, 1958 in Baltimore.
EDUCATION: Sacred Heart of Mary, Graceland Park, elementary school, Dundalk, Maryland. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School (Essex). Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C (seminary training at the Theological College).
PRIESTLY ORDINATION: Ordained by Archbishop William Donald Borders for the Archdiocese of Baltimore at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on Nov. 24, 1984.
EPISCOPAL ORDINATION: Ordained by William Cardinal Keeler, Bishop William Newman and Bishop W. Francis Maloony on Aug. 24, 2004 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
INSTALLED AS BISHOP OF SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS: Installed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., on Aug. 12, 2014.
APPOINTED AS 10th ARCHBISHOP OF ST. LOUIS: Appointed by Pope Francis June 10, 2020.
EPISCOPAL MOTTO: Serve the Lord with Gladness