January 16, 2005

St. Louis native is new leader

The Kansas City Star

By JOE ROBERTSON The Kansas City Star

A Catholic bishop doesn't choose his assignments. And that, says the new leader of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, is the beauty of the work.

If, as in Joseph F. Naumann's case, a man who'd lived his whole life in St. Louis should find himself transplanted in his mid-50s to the land of Jayhawks, you don't ask why.

You thrill to the idea, Naumann said, “that God's plans are always better than ours.”

On Saturday, Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Archbishop James P. Keleher, 73, who has led the archdiocese since 1993. Naumann, 55, takes over immediately, as was planned a year ago when he was appointed the co-adjutor bishop of the archdiocese. ...

Keleher's efforts included strengthening the archdiocese's recruitment of new leadership. The number of students in seminary for the archdiocese rose from three when he started in 1993, to 25 today, Naumann said.

Keleher oversaw the creation of the program, To Protect God's Children. The program aims to educate families and staff and guard children against sexual assault in the wake of abuse scandals.

Posted by kshaw at January 16, 2005 07:56 AM