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Priests from Milwaukee, Burlington appointed by Pope Francis as “Auxiliary Bishops”

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MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee native Father Jeffrey Haines and Burlington native Father James Schuerman have been appointed by Pope Francis as Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

According to a release from Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, the appointments were announced in Rome, on January 25th.

The two priests will be ordained bishops by Archbishop Listecki at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The ordination date has not been announced, but should be within the next five-to-eight weeks.

“Praised be Jesus Christ; this is a proud moment for the Church in southeastern Wisconsin,” Archbishop Listecki said in the release.  “By choosing two of our own priests as our new auxiliary bishops, the Holy Father has paid a high compliment to all the priests from this archdiocese.  In these two humble parish priests, Pope Francis has chosen men with a pastoral heart who have deep spirituality, and men who have the confidence of the priests and people of the archdiocese.  He has gifted us with true servant-leaders, and they will share my ministry to the people of God throughout southeastern Wisconsin.”

According to the release from Listecki, auxiliary bishops serve the Church by assisting the archbishop in the pastoral and spiritual leadership of the archdiocese.  They assist the diocesan bishop in his role as shepherd – teaching, leading, serving and celebrating the sacraments with the people of God.

“I always have considered the vocation of priestly ministry in the Church to be the greatest of gifts, because each and every day I am blessed with the opportunity to proclaim the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament and thus encounter Him in the people I serve,” said bishop-elect Haines in the release.  “This ‘new calling’ as an Auxiliary Bishop brings the grace-filled opportunity to expand the parameters of this joyful service to the whole archdiocese.  I am profoundly humbled by this calling and keenly aware of my shortcomings, but I find strength and inspiration in the powerful presence and vitality of the Holy Spirit emerging in the implementation of our recent Archdiocesan Synod.  I look forward to assisting Archbishop Listecki in fulfilling the pastoral priorities of this mission.  I give praise to God and thanksgiving to His Holiness Pope Francis for the honor of this episcopal appointment.”

According to the release from Listecki, Bishop-elect Haines, 58 (born October 6, 1958) was ordained to the priesthood on May 17th, 1985, by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., and is currently serving as Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee.  He was three times elected moderator of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and currently is a member of the College of Consultors.  He is respected by fellow clergy and parishioners alike for his pastoral and leadership skills.

After ordination in 1985, Father Haines was appointed Associate Pastor of St. Nicholas in Milwaukee.  In 1987, he was given additional responsibilities as Associate Pastor of Holy Redeemer Church in Milwaukee. In 1991, he was appointed Associate Pastor of St. Eugene Parish, Fox Point.  In 1996, he was appointed pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in West Bend.  He was granted temporary leave to study canon law at Catholic University in 2002.  However, he returned within the year to become Temporary Administrator of St. Patrick Parish in Whitewater.  In 2003, he returned as Pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in West Bend, and was given additional responsibility as assisting priest of Immaculate Conception/St. Mary’s, West Bend in 2004.  In 2011, he was appointed Rector of the Cathedral.

Born in Milwaukee to his parents, Jim and Maureen (“Mo”) Haines, Bishop-elect Haines was baptized at St. Elizabeth parish, Milwaukee, before the family moved to New Berlin in 1965.  There, he attended Holy Apostles Parish and Grade School, New Berlin, and graduated from new Berlin West High School in 1977.  He began his college studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, before transferring and graduating from Marquette University in 1981 with a degree in theology.  He attended Saint Francis de Sales Seminary for graduate theological studies from 1981-1985, earning a Masters of Divinity degree.  Bishop-elect Haines has three siblings, John (Mary), Rick (Donna) and Anne (Sean) Haines Carroll.  He occasionally interrupts his pastoral work for “pilgrimages” to Miller Park to watch the Milwaukee Brewers, and to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to listen to country music, according to the release from Listecki.

Bishop-elect Schuerman, 58 (born April 5, 1958), was ordained to the priesthood on May 17th, 1986, by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., and is currently serving as Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lake Geneva, and as Supervising Priest of Holy Cross Parish, Bristol, according to the release from Listecki.

“I am deeply humbled by the Holy Father’s invitation to serve the faithful of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as Auxiliary Bishop,” Bishop-elect Schuerman said in the release.  “I ask for prayers as I commit myself to this role of leadership and service.”

According to the release from Listecki, Bishop-elect Schuerman attended Saint Francis de Sales Seminary College from 1976 to 1980, earning a Bachelor’s of Arts degree and, after attending Saint Francis de Sales Seminary for his first year of theology from 1980 to 1981, was selected for studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, earning his Masters of Theology.  His first assignment was Associate Pastor at St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee from 1986 to 1992.  He then was selected for missionary service at the Archdiocesan sister parish, La Sagrada Familia, in the Dominican Republic, where he served from 1992 until 1996.

In August of 1996, Bishop-elect Schuerman enrolled in a special graduate program at Chicago Theological Union for returning missionaries where he earned a doctorate in ministry with specialization in spirituality.  He joined the faculty of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary as spiritual director and faculty member from 1997 to 2009.  In 2009, he became administrator of St. Andrew Parish, Delavan, and then Pastor at St. Andrew in 2010.  From 2011 to 2012, he also served as Pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Elkhorn.  In 2012, he became Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lake Geneva.  He continues his role in priest formation, serving as adjunct spiritual director for Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, according to the release from Listecki.

Bishop-elect Schuerman speaks German and is highly fluent in Spanish, which has aided his ministry in the southwestern area of the archdiocese where there is a growing population of Hispanic Catholics.  He received the archdiocesan Vatican II Award for Service to the Priesthood in 2012.

Born in Burlington to his parents, Robert and Elizabeth Schuerman, Bishop-elect Schuerman grew up in Lyons, was a member of St. Joseph Parish, and attended St. Joseph’s Grade School, Burlington Jr. High School, and Burlington High School. Bishop-elect Schuerman has four siblings, Virginia (Sam) Kalaveshi, Robert (Jean Ann) Schuerman, Jr., Theresa Schuerman (Mark Leemkuil) and David Schuerman, according to the release from Listecki.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has one current Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Emeritus Richard J. Sklba, 81, who was appointed a bishop by Pope John Paul II and served the Archdiocese of Milwaukee until his retirement in 2010.

“I join the Archbishop and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in our expression of great joy as we learn of the Holy Father’s recent appointment of Fathers Jeffrey Haines and James Schuerman to serve as Auxiliary Bishops for the Catholics of Southeastern Wisconsin,” Bishop Sklba said in the release.  “They are both excellent pastors whose new ministry will be for us a great blessing for many years to come.  My prayers are with them both.”

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