|Most Rev. Alexander Brunett
When the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone becomes archbishop of San Francisco on Oct. 4, the Most Rev. Alexander Brunett will become the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Oakland.
Archbishop-designate Cordileone told the chancery staff on Sept. 24 that Pope Benedict XVI appointed the retired Seattle archbishop to serve until a new bishop is named for Oakland and takes possession of the diocese.
"I'm very grateful that the Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Brunett to continue on as apostolic administrator. I think it would not have been fair, to either Oakland or San Francisco. I could not have given as good attention to both."
Archbishop-designate Cordileone said he was grateful to have had the authority as apostolic administrator during the transition.
"Given the major decisions we have to make in the diocese at this time, I think it's important that the bishop here, or the one entrusted with the pastoral care here, have that authority," he said.
Archbishop-designate Cordileone said he appreciated the enthusiasm with which Archbishop Brunett accepted his new responsibilities.
"He's had to deal with issues is his ministry as a bishop very similar to the kind of issues we're dealing with here, in terms of development, fundraising in terms of Catholic education, including building high schools, building up endowment funds, tuition assistance in supporting Catholic schools," Archbishop-designate Cordileone said. "He has a wealth of wisdom and experience to draw on."
Archbishop Brunett, who is 78, has been retired from his leadership post in Seattle for two years. He said that he is often asked why he is retired, and that people tell him he has so much energy.
"I'm around all the time helping out," he said. "Somebody must have suggested I have a lot of energy to burn up. Go burn it out in Oakland, California."
Archbishop Brunett, who said he has never lived in California, said, "I find there are many things that are similar to what we've gone through in Seattle."
He will serve as apostolic administrator until the pope names a new bishop for the diocese. The last apostolic administrator served 16 months, he said.
He said he looks forward to getting to work.
"I'm going to be here to be with you, work with you," he told the chancery staff. "You have some wonderful challenges you're facing. I've done them all before, creating endowments and paying off debt. When I left Seattle, we didn't owe a penny and we had endowments for everything we needed to have endowments for. I intend to start on that," he said.
"I'm known for being very compassionate, very caring but clear in what I think we should be doing or how we should be going," he said
Archbishop Brunett is known for his work with ecumenical dialogue and is preparing a Muslim-Catholic dialogue, Archbishop-designate Cordileone said.
In October, he will leave for a week for the canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. "The miracle happened in my archdiocese," he said. He processed the documents on the miracle, and has been invited to celebrate Mass with the pope.
"That's once in a lifetime," he said.
Next Front Page