WASHINGTON (October 27, 1997) -- Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Alexander J. Brunett of Helena, Montana to be Archbishop of Seattle and named Bishop John G. Vlazny of Winona, Minnesota as Archbishop of Portland in Oregon.
Archbishop-designate Brunett succeeds Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy who died June 26. Archbishop-designate Vlazny is the successor to Most Reverend Francis E. George who was appointed Archbishop of Chicago on April 8.
Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in the United States, announced the appointments.
Alexander Joseph Brunett was born in Detroit, January 17, 1934. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, the University of Detroit, and Marquette University, Milwaukee. He was ordained a priest of the Detroit archdiocese on July 13, 1958.
Following ordination, Archbishop-designate Brunett was assistant pastor, St. Rose of Lima church, Detroit, then assistant pastor of St. Alphonsus church, Dearborn. From 1962 to 1964 he served as Chaplain of the Newman Club at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and subsequently earned a doctorate in theology at Marquette. From 1969 to 1972 he was chaplain at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, and was on the faculty of St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He was pastor of St. Aidan parish, Livonia, from 1973 to 1991 when he was appointed pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Archbishop-designate Brunett was appointed Director of the Division of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Detroit, in 1973. He was co-founder and first president of the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies in Detroit, and is a past president of the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers (NADEO).
He was appointed Bishop of Helena on April 19, 1994.
Seattle was established as a diocese in 1850 and created as an archdiocese in 1951. It comprises 19 counties in 24,834 square miles of the State of Washington. Its Catholic population is 369,050 in a total population of 4,282,200.
John George Vlazny was born in Chicago on February 22, 1937. He studied at Quigley Preparatory Seminary and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained December 20, 1961.
Archbishop-designate Vlazny was pastor of St. Aloysius church, Chicago, from 1979 to 1981 when he was named Rector of Niles College Seminary. He served on the Presbyterial Senate of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and was a diocesan consultor and a member of the Diocesan Clergy Personnel Board.
He was named Titular Bishop of Stagno and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on October 31, 1983.
Archbishop-designate Vlazny was appointed Bishop of Winona on May 19, 1987.
The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon was established as the Archdiocese of Oregon City in 1846. Its name was changed to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon in 1928. It has a Catholic population of 282,593 in a total population of 2,725,200 and comprises that part of the State of Oregon lying between the summit of the Cascades and the Pacific Ocean.