Statement by Bishop-designate John M. LeVoir

on acceptance of appointment as

fourth bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm

 

It is with faith in God and with devotion to Pope Benedict XVI that I accept his appointment of me as the fourth Bishop of New Ulm. I am most grateful to the Holy Father for his confidence in me.

 

My background is that of a parish priest. I was an Associate Pastor at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony for eleven years, and Pastor of Holy Trinity in South St. Paul for twelve years and for four of those years, I was at the same time Pastor of St. Augustine in South St. Paul. I have been Pastor of St. Michael and St. Mary in Stillwater since 2004.

 

I am grateful to the parishioners of all of these parishes for their goodness to me. I am especially grateful to the late Monsignor Richard Schuler for the support that he gave me during my seminary years and for Father Francis Kittock, who was my Pastor and mentor at St. Charles Borromeo where I was his Associate.

 

I am particularly grateful to my parents, Marvin A. LeVoir, now deceased, and Mary A. LeVoir, now 93 years old, and to my brothers Frederick J. LeVoir and Paul W. LeVoir, and my sister, Mary Ellen Steinkraus.

 

In his retirement years, I was blessed to have known Bishop Alphonse Schladweiler, the founding Bishop of the New Ulm diocese. He was a kind and gentle shepherd.

 

I am pleased that this announcement is being made on July 14, the Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680). She was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. Kateri is the first Native American to be declared Blessed.

 

I am going to be a new Bishop. I know that I have much to learn about serving as a Bishop and about the New Ulm diocese. Archbishop Nienstedt has assured me of his advice and help. I appreciate that so much. I ask the clergy, the religious, and the people of the diocese to be patient with me and to pray for me, as I will for them. With the help of God's grace, I will do my best to be a faithful shepherd.