ST. PAUL, Minnesota (OSV News) — Pope Francis named Father Michael John Izen, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis who has ministered in parishes and as a pastor in his nearly 18 years of priesthood, as the next auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese.
Bishop-elect Izen, 55, will serve with Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Williams to lead the church in a 12-county metropolitan area that encompasses the Twin Cities and is home to about 725,000 Catholics.
His ordination is scheduled for April 11 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul.
“I was surprised, humbled, and a little terrified when I received the call from the Apostolic Nuncio (Archbishop Christophe Pierre), informing me that Pope Francis had appointed me as an auxiliary bishop,” Bishop-elect Izen said. “Archbishop Hebda has been very supportive and reassuring since I first received the news — very fatherly. I look forward to being an extension of him to our archdiocese and serving and being present to the people of God.”
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Joe Ruff is editor in chief of The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis.