Toledo bishop leaving PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:39
File photo. Bishop Leonard Paul Blair, the new Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Toledo, performs the Eucharist during his official installation, in the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Sentinel-Tribune, Michael Lehmkuhle, File)
Bishop Leonard P. Blair, of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo has been named as the Fifth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Henry Mansell, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, and named Blair, 64, to succeed him.
The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington today by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Blair’s appointment was also announced on the Toledo diocesan website. 
Blair was to be officially introduced as the new archbishop during a press conference at the Hartford Archdiocesan Center at Saint Thomas Seminary, at 10 a.m. today.
“Whether we are deacons, priests or bishops, we all know that we are to serve where we are called,” Blair wrote in his farewell letter to the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Toledo. “So I accept the new appointment from the Holy Father as God’s will for me, and I embrace the challenge of making a new home in Hartford. At the same time, it will not be easy for me to leave all of you.”
Archbishop-designate Blair was born April 12, 1949, in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and the North American College, Rome. He earned a licentiate in sacred theology at the Gregorian University in Rome in 1978 and a doctor of sacred theology in 1997 at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas there.
Blair, who was appointed Bishop of Toledo on Oct. 7, 2003 by Blessed Pope John Paul II, has served the diocese for almost 10 years. In accordance with Canon Law Blair will continue to preside over the Toledo Diocese on a limited basis until his installation in Hartford on Dec. 16.
Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1976, Blair was appointed titular bishop of Voncariana and auxiliary bishop of Detroit July 9, 1999. He was ordained a bishop August 24, 1999 prior to his appointment to Toledo. He chairs the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catechism and is a member of the Committees on Doctrine and Evangelization and Catechesis.
Following the installation in Hartford, the College of Consulters, a group of eight priests of the diocese who advise the bishop in the more important matters of the diocesan administration, will elect a priest of the Toledo Diocese to serve as the diocesan Administrator until such time as the pope appoints a new bishop for Toledo. The administrator is to oversee the daily operations of the diocese, without making any innovations that might bind the hands of the next bishop.
Father Herbert Weber, dean of the St. Katharine Drexel Deanery and pastor of Perrysburg Blessed John XXIII, Perrysburg, is the only Wood County priest on the panel.
“While he is to maintain the status quo of the diocese,” notes Father Monte Hoyles, diocesan chancellor of the administrator, “he is also responsible for making decisions, with the help of the College of Consultors, that need to be made. The life and the work of the church continue even when we await the appointment of a new bishop.”
According to the Code of Canon Law, the consultors may elect any diocesan priest who is older than 35. He is also to be “outstanding in doctrine and prudence,” according to the code.
While geographically smaller than the Diocese of Toledo, the Archdiocese of Hartford is about twice the size of Toledo with approximately 700,000 Catholics in three counties. The Diocese of Toledo has about 319,000 Catholics within 19 counties.
According to its website, the Archdiocese of Hartford is home to more than 500 priests serving 213 parishes as well as other apostolates. The priests are assisted by almost 300 deacons. The Diocese of Toledo has 216 priests, 124 parishes and 204 deacons.
There is no pre-determined amount of time a diocese remains without a bishop. Bishop Blair was appointed by Blessed Pope John Paul II only eight months after Bishop James R. Hoffman’s death in 2003. However, that was considered a short interval.
A Mass and reception in honor of Blair is being planned for early December. Details were not yet available at press time. Information will be announced at and on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 11:06

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