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Pope names another Bishop with roots in Alpena
STATEMENT OF BISHOP STEVEN J. RAICA
I am honored to learn of the appointment of Monsignor Paul Russell as Apostolic Nuncio of Turkey. At the same time, he was named an Archbishop. Archbishop-designate Russell was born in Massachusetts, but grew up in Alpena, Michigan. He served as the charge d’affaires at the Vatican Embassy in Taiwan since 2009.
While growing up in Alpena, Archbishop-designate Russell attended St. Bernard Parish. He is now the second bishop from St. Bernard Parish. Almost two years ago, Bishop Chad Zielinski who grew up in St. Bernard Parish, was named Bishop of Fairbanks, Alaska. Also from Alpena, Bishop Kenneth Povish, who grew up in St. Anne Parish, served as the Bishop of Crookston, MN and then as Bishop of Lansing, Michigan.
The appointment of Archbishop-designate Russell as Nuncio in Turkey and Turkmenistan honors Alpena and the Diocese of Gaylord. It illustrates again the fact that the Lord’s call to ministry is being heard and responded to generously. The Apostles were charged to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation (Mk 16:16)”! Between Fairbanks, Alaska and Turkey / Turkmenistan – these successors of the Apostles are taking the command of our Lord quite literally!
The entire Diocese of Gaylord congratulates Archbishop Russell on his generous “Yes!” to the invitation of the Successor of Peter to serve the Church and the mission of Christ “to the ends of the earth.” Our prayers are with him and the people of Turkey and Turkmenistan during this challenging time for the Church. May the will of God be accomplished and the message of Christ’s peace and good will be announced to all.
Photo taken at St. Bernard church in Alpena i 2012 during the celebration of Archbishop-designate Paul Russell's 25th anniversary to the priesthood.