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The Scoop


Verbatim: 7 diocesan priests awarded title of monsignor

Pope honors theologian

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Communications Office issued the following statement Tuesday:

Bishop John M. D’Arcy has announced that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has conferred the title of Chaplain to His Holiness (Monsignor) on the following priests in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend:


  • Reverend Robert C. Schulte, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and Vicar General/Chancellor of the Diocese and Moderator of the Curia.
  • Reverend Michael W. Heintz, Ph.D., rector of Saint Matthew Cathedral, South Bend.

  • Reverend Bruce J. Piechocki, JCL, Judicial Vicar, Director of Marriage Tribunal
  • Reverend Bernard J. Galic, Director of Vocations Office

The same honor has been granted by the Holy Father to the pastors of the two largest parishes in the diocese:

  • Reverend John M. Kuzmich, pastor of Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, Fort Wayne.
  • Reverend William C. Schooler, pastor of Saint Pius X Parish, Granger.

The same honor has been given by the Holy Father to one of our retired priests:

  • Reverend Raymond J. Balzer, former pastor of Saint Patrick’s Parish, Fort Wayne; Immaculate Conception Parish, Auburn; and Saint Rose of Lima Parish, Monroeville. Father Balzer resides at Saint Anne’s Home.
In honoring these seven priests in the Year for Priests, Bishop D’Arcy said, “We receive these honors with gratitude to our Holy Father. In the Year for Priests, the Holy Father has honored our diocese and all priests who serve here.

“Let us pray that through this Year for Priests all our priests will be sanctified and that more young men of good quality will join us in this demanding, but beautiful vocation.”

* * *

“Monsignor” is not itself an appointment but a form of address. Properly speaking, one cannot be “made a monsignor” nor can one be “the monsignor of a parish.” It is a title associated with an honorary award. The three awards or offices most often associated with the style “monsignor” are Protonotary Apostolic, Honorary Prelate and Chaplain of His Holiness.

These awards are granted by the Pope, usually at the request of the local bishop. In most English-speaking countries, it is not used for bishops, but only for priests who have received certain specific honorary awards or who hold certain offices. The written form of address for a priest-monsignor is: “The Reverend Monsignor (last name),” and the spoken form of address is: “Monsignor (last name).” Monsignor is abbreviated Msgr.

The new Monsignors will be honored at a special liturgy in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne, in the near future, Bishop D’Arcy said.

“This honor was totally unexpected. It was a complete surprise,” said Msgr. Piechocki. “Not only do I see it as recognition of the hard work and patient endurance of the entire staff of the marriage tribunal, it also gives testimony to the important role played within the diocese by Our Lady of Good Hope Parish.”

“Bishop D’Arcy has indicated that this honor is as much for the parish as it is for those of us who received the new title. That brings comfort to me,” added Msgr. Schooler.

“I was very surprised, but also humbled,” said Msgr. Heintz. “I figure it’s a greater reflection on the good people I have had the privilege of serving and the other priests with whom I have worked and who have formed me, as these have been influences that have shaped me and made me a better priest.”

“I’m surprised, I didn’t know it was coming,” said Msgr. Schulte. “It’s an honor. A lot of people are commenting about it. Growing up at St. Peter’s Parish in Fort Wayne, Msgr. Schulte said he had monsignors, especially Msgr. Bapst, as a priestly influence.

“It kind of made me feel like a senior priest,” Msgr. Schulte added. “It will take some getting used to. I’ve been ‘Father Bob’ for 34 years.”

And finally, Msgr. Galic said,” I am humbled by the honor and grateful for it.”


By Bishop John M. D’Arcy

The Pope Honors a Distinguished Theologian

Freedom of research, which the academic community rightly holds most precious, means an openness to accepting the truth that emerges at the end of an investigation, which no element has intruded that is foreign to the methodology corresponding to the object under study.

In theology, this freedom of inquiry is the hallmark of a rational discipline whose object is given by Revelation, handed on and interpreted in the Church under the authority of the Magisterium and received by faith.

–Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, May 24, 1990.

With joy, I am pleased to announce that in addition to conferring honors on seven diocesan priests, Pope Benedict XVI has conferred a high papal honor on a man who has devoted his life to the study and teaching of theology. He has been teacher to priests; and to doctoral students; and undergraduates; and to the children, which God has given to him and his wife, Nancy.

Professor Cavadini has always seen Theology as linked to the Church and to the life of faith. He sees himself as under the Word of God and in communion with the Church. He is what is called a patristic theologian; that is, a student of the Fathers of the Church. He has been instrumental in the renewal and strengthening of the Department of Theology at Notre Dame. He has presented talks on the Catechism of the Catholic Church to priests and catechists. He has drawn the bishops from across the country to seminars in this Diocese, first at Notre Dame on Dei Verbum – the Constitution on Revelation on the Second Vatican Council.

He has organized retreats for bishops, and organized and presented a seminar on preaching to the bishops of this country at the Franciscan Sisters in Mishawaka. In an age when some theology is ever more necessary for the life of the Church, Professor Cavadini has avoided the trendy and the superficial. This is only fitting, since it is especially Saint Augustine, that great Western father that remains the inspiration for his life of study and teaching.

Conferral of this papal honor brings honor to our Diocese, to Notre Dame, and to theologians.

I am pleased to announce this honor, and it is most fitting that it is made at the same time that seven of our priests are honored by the Holy Father.

The Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great, which was established in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI, is one of the five pontifical orders of knighthood in the Catholic Church and is bestowed on Catholic men in recognition of their service to the Church, support of the Holy See, and the good example set in their communities. It is a charge to further carry their Christian principles into the professional, educational, and business worlds.

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