Click here to read about a special opportunity to honor our new monsignors!
In an announcement made December 28, and in order to recognize and honor the clergy of the Diocese of Toledo on the occasion of the Diocesan Centenary, the Most Revered Leonard P. Blair announced that, at his request, Pope Benedict XVI has named ten diocesan priests “monsignors.” Currently, there is only one priest in the diocese with that title, Monsignor Edward C. Dunn, now retired.
Describing the proper context for understanding the honor that is conferred on a priest who is named a monsignor, Bishop Blair explained, “The title means that a priest has been made an honorary member of the Pope’s own household. Some monsignors are honorary ‘chaplains’ to the Pope; others are honorary ‘prelates’. This is in keeping with a centuries-old tradition.” The word “monsignor” is simply a title of respect derived from Signore, the Italian equivalent of “Mister.”
“My intention is to recognize the service of all of our priests by honoring a few representatives out of the many whom so faithfully teach, sanctify and shepherd the people of God,” Bishop Blair said. “The fact that this is a papal honor,” he added, “underscores, on the occasion of our centenary, the close bonds of communion between our local church and the Holy Father in Rome.”
The Bishop also noted that there was a time in the diocese when certain parishes always had a monsignor as their pastor, but that is not what is envisioned with these appointments.
The monsignors announced today are the following:
From among the Senior Priests: Reverend Cleo S. Schmenk and Reverend Bertrand J. Shenk;
From among those priests who in a number of assignments have exercised ministries that serve the whole diocese: Reverend William J. Kubacki, Reverend Kenneth C. Morman and Reverend Charles E. Singler;
From among current Pastors, the following are Pastors of the diocese’s two largest parishes: Reverend Michael G. Hohenbrink and Reverend Dennis M. Metzger;
From those who hold an office of service in the diocesan curia traditionally associated with the title of monsignor: Reverend Michael R. Billian and Reverend Marvin G. Borger (Vicars General) and Reverend Christopher P. Vasko (Judicial Vicar).
A Vespers service for the new monsignors will be announced at a later date.