Detroiter Set for Vatican Post ‘gets Things Moving’

By Oralandar Brand-Williams
Detroit News
October 8, 2010

Detroit — A Detroit native and former priest at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church who will be elevated to one of the highest offices at the Vatican on Saturday is a “kind of CEO who gets things moving,” say those who know him.

The Rev. Joseph Tobin, 58, who grew up in Holy Redeemer as a child and was the eldest of 13 children, went on to serve as the church’s associate pastor from 1979-90 and later pastor. He will be ordained as an archbishop as part of his appointment as secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic. Tobin has been at the Vatican 18 years.

Tobin will oversee the Institutes of Consecrated Life, including the controversial Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States, which has been viewed as an investigation of religious practices of nuns in the United States. Tobin also will oversee apolistic visitation of the Catholic Church, which has been rocked by sexual abuse by clergy.

Msgr. Donald Hanchon of Holy Redeemer on the city’s southwest side said Tobin is well liked. He said Tobin, whom he met when Hanchon was pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Monroe, is “a kind of CEO who gets things moving.”

“He’s uniquely qualified,” Hanchon said Thursday. “He’s very well traveled. ...

He’s gone to Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.”

Joe Kohn, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit, said parishioners of Holy Redeemer welcomed the news when the appointment was announced earlier this year.

“It's always something we're happy to see when one of our own is so honored to serve the church,” he said in August.

Hanchon said Tobin’s appointment is important for the Catholic Church in the United States.

“It gives the Catholic Church in the United States a higher profile in Rome,” he said.


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