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Archbishop-elect Mitchell Rozanski spoke at a press conference at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in St. Louis on June 10.
Archbishop-elect Mitchell Rozanski spoke at a press conference at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in St. Louis on June 10.
Photo Credit: Lisa Johnston

We must work together

This is a transcript of the speech given by Archbishop-designate Mitchell Rozanski at his introductory press conference on June 10 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Well, good morning, everyone. And it’s wonderful to be with you today, and many thanks for your presence here in the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis this morning.

Just over two weeks ago, I received the very surprising news that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, had named me the 10th archbishop of St. Louis. Mindful of God’s goodness, I wish to express my gratitude to our Holy Father for his trust that he has placed in me, and to Archbishop Christophe Pierre, our papal nuncio to the United States, for this appointment. I also want to thank deeply Archbishop Robert Carlson for his solicitude to me ever since he was informed of my appointment.

I know on behalf of all of us that I thank Archbishop Carlson for his service to this Church of St. Louis over these past 11 years; for his steady leadership and living out the Gospel message in such a beautiful, humble way. I know that I will count on his wise counsel and his wisdom in the days, weeks, and years ahead.

This is a troubled time for our nation. We are still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 virus, the death of Mr. George Floyd, and the sad specter of racism that tears at the very fabric of our country. Jesus has entrusted to us His Church to be His presence in our world, particularly here, in the city and the surrounding areas of St. Louis.

Jesus did not avoid any person or situation that was uncomfortable. He walked into those difficult circumstances bringing the healing presence of God. All of us stand in need of that healing presence — personally, communally, and as a nation. It is my hope that, called to lead this Church of St. Louis, God’s grace will be in abundance in helping me to be part of that healing process and resolution to all of the daunting issues that we face. No leader, though, can do this alone. We must work together if we truly want to realize the mandate of Jesus to bring justice and peace to our families, our communities, our nation, and world.

Over these past six years, I’ve been graced to serve as the Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts. The good people of Springfield are hearing this news today, just as you are. I want to thank God for these past six years and to tell the people of Springfield how grateful I am to them for their welcome to me when I first arrived, for their collaboration with me over these six years, and I want them to know they are in my prayers as they now experience this time of (transition). Good-byes are never easy, but we remain close in faith.

As the installation on Aug. 25 draws near, I look forward to getting to meet the priests, deacons, women and men religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I humbly ask for your prayers and pledge to you that I will do my best to serve the Lord and you, His people here, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Again, thank you very much.

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