Monday, July 2, 2007

More on Bishop-elect Christensen

Found on the website of Nativity Parish ( in St. Paul, Minn., where he has heretofor been pastor, here's a light-hearted biography of Bishop-elect Peter Christensen, who will soon take the helm of the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin:

Archbishop Flynn has appointed Father Peter Christensen as the fifth Pastor of Nativity Parish. Father Christensen is an outstanding Catholic priest. He loves the Church and the sacraments, he sought after a parish with a strong Catholic school, he is a fine preacher and compassionate confessor, he enjoys people young and old, he is a proven administrator and fundraiser. And yes, he can draw. Father Christensen was born in 1952, grew up in Southern California, then moved to the Twin Cities in 1975. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Saint Thomas, he worked as a commercial artist. Father Christensen was ordained in 1985 from the Saint Paul Seminary and served as Associate Pastor at Saint Olaf's in downtown Minneapolis until 1989, when he was assigned as a spiritual director at Saint John Vianney Seminary.

In 1992, Archbishop Roach appointed him Seminary Rector. As Rector, Father Christensen took a moribund Seminary and brought its enrollment from 30 or so seminarians to its current enrollment of more than 100, making it the largest college Seminary in the United States. He revamped the formation program, instituted Eucharistic Adoration, built up a $3 million endowment, and beautified the Seminary Chapel. I don't know if he is taking credit for the fact that the seminarians' intramural football team has won the championship two of the last three years, but they certainly have changed their previous reputation around the campus.

"I am thrilled with the news of my assignment at Nativity," says Father Christensen. "I have a deep admiration and respect for your parish, and I look forward to being an integral part of your community."

Father Christensen will take some well-deserved vacation in June and July, beginning his duties at Nativity the first of August. (By the way, no word at this time on a possible new Associate Pastor.) I am counting on the good people of Nativity to offer him the same warm welcome that you extended to me three years ago. God has answered many people's fervent prayers, giving us a Pastor after His own heart. Welcome home, Father Christensen

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