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The former Bishop of Wichita, Kan., Michael O. Jackels, was appointed by Pope Francis as the 12th head of the Dubuque Catholic Archdiocese, which includes 30 counties in Northeast Iowa. The papal nuncio, or official Vatican representative to the United Sates, announced the changes Monday in Washington, D.C.
Hanus, 72, tendered his resignation last year to former Pope Benedict XVI, citing declining health especially since a serious traffic accident a year ago. Jackels’ appointment is one of the first batch of assignments the new pope made.
Both men and former Archbishop Daniel Kucera, who was in attendance in his wheelchair, were applauded by staff.
“They love you already,” Kucera quipped, as an enthusiastic audience in the archdiocesan pastoral center clapped loudly. Jackels, 58, served as the 10th bishop of Wichita for eight years. Before that, he worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome under then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who became Pope Benedict.
Jackels often cited his episcopal motto during his comments Monday.
“Ecce adsum. Here I am, Michael Jackels, introducing myself to the people God has called me to serve,” he said, arms out as he offered himself in service. “I beg your prayers and patience,” as he learns about the “personality” of the Dubuque Archdiocese and its 200,000 Catholics.
Feast of Joan of Arc?