News Release: On the Death of Bishop Breitenbeck

March 15, 2005

(LANSING)—Michigan Catholic Conference president and chief executive officer Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., today made the following statement regarding the death of the Most Reverend Joseph M. Breitenbeck, emeritus bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids:

“At a time when the universal Church was undergoing a significant transformation, Bishop Breitenbeck provided clarity, assurance and continued faith for those who sought his guidance in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. His special and earnest devotion to women religious will be remembered affectionately as significant in the sister formation movement. Bishop Breitenbeck led his flock for nearly 20 years with an admirable sense of compassion, dedication and commitment to Vatican II. His humanity touched many people, with his talents and friendship to be missed with heartfelt fondness.”

While bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids from 1969 to 1989, Bishop Breitenbeck was an active member of the Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors—offering his counsel and guidance on numerous matters concerning Church and state.

Mass of Christian Burial for Bishop Breitenbeck will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, March 17 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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