WASHINGTON (June 12, 2001) -- Pope John Paul II appointed Auxiliary Bishop John C. Nienstedt of Detroit
as Bishop of New Ulm, Minnesota. Bishop Nienstedt succeeds Most Reverend Raymond A. Lucker who resigned last November.
The Pope appointed Monsignor Samuel J. Aquila, Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, to be Coadjutor Bishop to Bishop James S. Sullivan of Fargo, North Dakota. A Coadjutor Bishop enjoys the right of succession which means that he becomes head of the diocese immediately upon the retirement or death of the incumbent diocesan bishop.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcements.
John C. Nienstedt was born in Detroit on March 18, 1947. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, the North American College, Pontifical Gregorian University, and the Alphonsianum in Rome where he earned a doctorate in moral theology. He was ordained a priest July 27, 1974.
The then-Monsignor Nienstedt was named Secretary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Detroit in 1977 and appointed to the Secretariat of State at the Vatican in 1980.
In 1986 he was appointed temporary assistant pastor at St. Regis parish in Birmingham, Michigan and given teaching responsibilities at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. He was appointed pastor of St. Patrick, Union Lake, in 1986.
In 1987 Bishop Nienstedt was given the task of reorganizing Sacred Heart Seminary. He was named Rector of the seminary in 1988 and appointed pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, in 1994.
He was appointed Titular Bishop of Alton and Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit on June 12, 1996.
The diocese of New Ulm has a Catholic population of 70,835 in a total population of 281,065.
The newly appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Fargo, Samuel Aquila, was born September 24, 1950 in Burbank, California.
He studied at St. Thomas Seminary, Denver, where he earned an M.A. in Theology, and San Anselmo in Rome, where he earned the S.T.L.
Monsignor Aquila was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1976.
He was assistant pastor, St. Mary Parish, Colorado Springs, from 1976 to 1979; assistant at Christ the King, Denver, 1979-1982; pastor, Guardian Angels Parish, Denver, 1982-1987; and Dean of the West Denver Deanery and member, Presbyteral Council, 1986-1987.
Bishop-designate Aquila did graduate studies at San Anselmo University from 1987 to 1990.
From 1990 to 1994 he was Director of Liturgy and Co-Director of the Department of Continuing Education for Priests, and from 1994 to 1999 archdiocesan Secretary for Catholic Education.
Bishop-designate Aquila was named Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in 1999.