Pope Francis appointed Leonard Paul Blair, 64, as the 5th archbishop of Hartford, a community faith for nearly 175 years.
Archbishop designate Blair was ordained a priest of Detroit in 1976. John Paul nominated him an auxiliary bishop in 1999 and in 2003 he translated to Toledo, Ohio. He received word on October 17 that he was being appointed to Hartford while he was in Rome.
Blair succeeds Archbishop Henry J. Mansell who has been the Diocesan Ordinary of Hartford since 2003. Mansell turned 76 on October 10.
Academically, Blair is trained in the study of the Church Fathers and in Historical Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome.
His Excellency has served Jesus Christ and His Church as pastor, seminary professor, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Detroit and he’s been in the service of the Holy See. Additionally, he’s known to be a strong supporter of Pro-life gestures attempting to give a coherent Catholic vision and voice for life issues. For example, he has stood his ground against Planned Parenthood and the Susan G, Komen Foundation which supports the former. He’s clear on the theology of marriage proposed by the Catholic Church.
According to Vatican published statistics, the archdiocese has an “area 5,926, population 1,996,000, Catholics 718,000, priests 393, permanent deacons 289, religious 818.”
The archbishop works on the doctrine committee, the evangelization and catechesis committee and was on the catechism subcommittee.
The new archbishop will be installed as the Archbishop of Hartford on Monday, December 16th, at 2pm, at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, 140 Farmington Ave., Hartford. Vespers will be prayed Sunday.
As Archbishop Blair said, we begin all things with the words of the Church, Praised be Jesus Christ!
May Our Lady help to guide the new archbishop and the people of God.