Archbishop of Milwaukee sends resignation letter to Pope Francis on 75th birthday

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (CBS 58) – Tuesday, March 12, is Archbishop of Milwaukee Jerome Listecki's 75th birthday.

The event ushers in a new era for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

"I feel great gratitude for being able to shepherd and lead the archdiocese for 14 years," Listecki said.

The archbishop of Milwaukee sent his resignation letter to Pope Francis Tuesday morning.

"I hope my legacy is that I served as a good archbishop, faithful to the needs of the archdiocese, and especially served their people," Listecki said.

Catholic church canon law requires bishops to resign at 75 years old, but it doesn't go into effect until accepted by the Pope.

"What he usually says is, you stay in place until I appoint your successor. It could be the next day, and it could be two years," Listecki explained.

Archbishop Listecki previously served as bishop of La Crosse and auxiliary bishop of Chicago.

His longest term was in Milwaukee.

"When you're there for a longer period of time, you can get to see the fruits of those things that you develop," Listecki said.

Listecki said while he certainly feels older, he also feels grateful.

"I'm very proud of the fact that the seminary is full, our Catholic charity is well respected and serves our 10 counties, and our schools are increasing," Listecki explained.

As for the next archbishop, Listecki shares this message:

"You've got a great archdiocese, so lock your arms with the priests and the people you serve and do whatever is necessary for Christ."

After his successor is appointed, Listecki said he will continue to support the church as a priest and serve people as needed.

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