October 19, 2009

Pope Names New Bishop for Diocese of Cheyenne

Father Paul D. EtiennePope Benedict XVI has named Father Paul D. Etienne, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, as the new bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  The appointment was announced Monday, October 19, 2009 at Noon in Rome.

Bishop-elect Etienne, 50, has been a priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for 17 years. He was ordained on June 27, 1992. Bishop-elect Etienne succeeds Bishop David L. Ricken, who was named bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., on July 9, 2008.

Bishop-elect Etienne was born on June 15, 1959 in Tell City, IN to Paul and Kay Etienne. Two of Bishop-elect Etienne’s brothers, Bernard and Zachary, are priests for the Diocese of Evansville, IN and one of his two sisters, Nicolette, is a Benedictine sister with Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, IN. Another brother, Richard, is married and lives in Newburg, IN., and another sister, Angela Kellems, is married and lives in Evansville, IN.

In an article in January of this year in The Criterion, the weekly newspaper for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Bishop-elect Etienne said he believes his parents’ strong faith nurtured his and his siblings’ vocations.

“I think it has told me volumes about the importance of healthy, loving family life,” Bishop-elect Etienne said. “Because it was out of that environment of that home that all of us discovered God’s love for us, and discovered our parents’ love for us, and discovered who we are as a person, and developed a self-esteem and courage to be ourselves and know that we were accepted and loved.”

 Bishop-elect Etienne, who was vocations director for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis from 1995 to 1998 and vice-rector of Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis from 2007 - 2009, said promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life would be one of his priorities.

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, said it is an honor for the priests of the archdiocese to have one of their own named a bishop.

“All the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis are proud of Father Etienne,” Archbishop Buechlein said. “Bishop-elect Etienne and all of the people of the Diocese of Cheyenne have our prayers. We are grateful for all that he has done for our archdiocese and we’ll miss him.”

Bishop-elect Etienne attended Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky., and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1986 from the University of St. Thomas, where he also attended St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

His priestly formation continued at the North American College in Rome from 1988 – 1992 and he received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1991.  He returned to Rome in 1994 and completed his License in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1995.

Bishop-elect Etienne has been the pastor of several parishes in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and has served on several archdiocesan administrative boards. He also is the vice-postulator of the cause for sainthood of the Servant of God, Bishop Simon Bruté the first bishop of Indiana.

The Diocese of Cheyenne, which covers the entire state of Wyoming and Yellowstone National park, is one of the most rural dioceses in the country and the largest in area outside of Alaska. It has 49,000 Catholics spread out over approximately 100,000 square miles.

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