I was at a very nicely handled press conference today where the Archbishop announced his retirement. It was interesting that when asked by a reporter about what he felt like his most important accomplishment was he answered very quickly "Catholic schools." Some of the other accomplishments that were mentioned by Bishop Coyne included the raising of over 300 million dollars through capital campaigns, the ordination of 40 priests, the founding of Brute College Seminary which is already over capacity, the opening of holy family homeless shelter, and the increase in vocations under his watch, which he unequivocally attributed to the busy adoration chapels throughout the Archdiocese.
More about the day and the past 19 years to follow. Here is his press release.
Pope Benedict XVI has granted early retirement to the Most Reverend Daniel M. Buechlein, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The announcement was made today by the Vatican and is effective immediately. Archbishop Buechlein has led the Archdiocese of Indianapolis since his appointment as archbishop by the late Pope John Paul II on July 14, 1992.
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the archdiocese’s auxiliary bishop, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Bishop Coyne will govern the archdiocese until a new archbishop is named.
Archbishop Buechlein, 73, requested the retirement earlier this year due to health issues resulting from a stroke he suffered on March 19, 2011. The normal retirement age for bishops is 75. The stroke was the latest in a series of health issues for Archbishop Buechlein in recent years including a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008, which required several months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
In his retirement, Archbishop Buechlein plans to return to southern Indiana to live at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and to rejoin the Benedictine community where he took a solemn profession as a Benedictine monk nearly 50 years ago.
“It has been a joy for me to serve as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for the past 20 years. I want to thank all of the clergy, religious, archdiocesan staff and lay people for the support you have given me over the years,” Archbishop Buechlein said. “You truly have been a blessing to me. With your help and the help of God we have been able to accomplish much.”