Pope Francis appointed Wednesday Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski to lead the Metropolitan Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Rozanski, 61, is the current Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts, where he has served since 2014. He succeeds Archbishop Robert Carlson, who presented his resignation to Pope Francis at the age of 75.
“I am confident in the future of God’s strong Church in St. Louis with Archbishop-elect Rozanski as its shepherd,” Archbishop Carlson wrote on Twitter following the announcement on June 10.
A Baltimore native, Rozanski was born in 1958, and attended Catholic schools in the city. He attended seminary at the Catholic University of America, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1984. He served in parish ministry, the archdiocesan curia, and with its seminary, and was named a monsignor in 2003.
Pope John Paul II appointed Rozanski as auxiliary bishop of Baltimore in 2004. He oversaw one of Baltimore archdiocese’s geographical vicariates while parishes were merged, and served as vicar for Hispanics. He was vocal in supporting Maryland’s DREAM act, allowing some undocumented immigrants to receive in-state college tuition.
At the time of his episcopal consecration, Rozanski was the youngest bishop in the United States. He went on to serve as chair of the U.S. bishops’ conference committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and as a consultant to the National Association for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.
A Polish-American, Rozanski has co-chaired the Polish National Catholic – Roman Catholic Dialogue. The Polish National Catholic Church is an ecclesial community founded in the U.S. in the late 19th-century by Polish-American immigrants.
He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
As Metropolitan Archbishop of St. Louis, Rozanski will oversee the largest city in Missouri, with a population of 2.25 million people across the archdiocese, 509,280 of which are Catholic.
The title of “metropolitan bishop” refers to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis, namely, the primary city of an ecclesiastical province or regional capital.
Archbishop Robert Carlson led the Archdiocese of St. Louis since 2009.
“I am honored to have served as leader of the Archdiocese of St. Louis for more than a decade,” Carlson said following Rozanski’s appointment.
“This large and generous community of faithful Catholics will continue to encourage me in my faith journey, and I know that Bishop Rozanski will cherish his new ministry.”
Pope Francis also appointed Fr. Bruce Lewandowski as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore June 10.