Jul 13, 2014

Baltimore bids farewell to Bishop Rozanski



(Photos by Sean Manning)

Staff report

BALTIMORE-- In the presence of family, friends, former parishioners, religious and clergy, including Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski bid farewell July 13 to the archdiocese where he has lived his entire life and served since his ordination as a priest Nov. 24, 1984.

In less than a month, on Aug. 12, Bishop Rozanski will be officially installed as the ninth bishop of Springfield.

With his parents, two brothers and their families in the front pews of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore (pictured right), along with approximately 500 other guests, Bishop Rozanski spoke of the bittersweet nature of the moment at the Mass of Thanksgiving and Farewell.

“Today is one of those bittersweet days,” he told those gathered, “a time to give thanks to God for so many blessings and a time to reflect upon and to realize that my time grows short in this nation’s first diocese and cherished home, Baltimore.”

“Over the past few weeks, since Pope Francis’ gracious appointment to the diocese of Springfield," he continued. "I have realized the depth of my gratitude to be able to serve in the church of Baltimore. You have taught me so much of what it means to be a shepherd for God’s people in so many ways.”

Following the Mass, he personally greeted those in attendance at a reception on the cathedral grounds.

Mitchell Thomas Rozanski was born in Baltimore on Aug. 6, 1958. A Baltimore native of Polish-American descent, he lived with his family in Fells Point, Md., where they attended Holy Rosary Parish.

He is the oldest of three sons born to Alfred and Jean Rozanski. His brother, Kenneth, and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters and a son. His youngest brother, Albert, and his wife, Danielle, have one son. All of the family members reside in Maryland.

When Mitchell was 8 years old, the family moved to Dundalk and the parish of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Graceland Park, where he attended the elementary school. He is a graduate of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School (Essex), The Catholic University of America before entering the Theological College at the Catholic University of America where he received seminary training. 

Having served in numerous parishes over the first 20 years of his priestly ministry, on July 3, 2004 he was named by the late, now St. John Paul II as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and was ordained on Aug. 24, 2004. Upon his ordination as bishop he was named vicar general and episcopal vicar for the Seton Vicariate of the Archdiocese. At the time of his ordination as a bishop in 2004, he was the youngest bishop in the United States.

At the conclusion of the 90-minute celebration, Archbishop Lori personally thanked Bishop Rozanski for his years of faithful service, a sentiment affirmed by all in attendance, who gave their beloved bishop a standing ovation.

Catholic Communications reporter Terence Hegarty contributed to this story.