Statement Honoring Archbishop Blair and Welcoming Archbishop Coyne

May 1, 2024, Diocese of Bridgeport, CT – On this historic occasion for the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Catholic Church in Connecticut we are honored to bid an affectionate farewell to Archbishop Leonard Blair and to welcome his successor, Archbishop Christopher J. Coyne.

As we look forward to Archbishop Coyne’s formal installation as the 14th Bishop to lead the Hartford Archdiocese, we also express our gratitude to Archbishop Leonard P. Blair for his years of extraordinary service to the Church and especially the faithful of the Archdiocese.

Named the Archbishop of Hartford in October of 2013, he was the 13th bishop and 5th Archbishop of the Diocese of Hartford. He has served almost 25 years as a Bishop and has been a role model for responsible, faithful, and strong leadership as well as a good and faithful shepherd to the people of the Archdiocese Hartford and beyond. In the coming days there will be many tributes to Archbishop Blair as the faithful throughout the Archdiocese express their gratitude for his prayerful leadership. On the occasion of his retirement and his 75th birthday, we join in the celebration of his life and ministry.

Likewise, we welcome Bishop Coyne, former Bishop of Burlington, Vermont. A Massachusetts native who was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in June 1986, Archbishop Coyne has also served as a pastor, teacher, and award-winning communicator, committed to bringing the invitational joy of the Gospel to all, while accompanying them on their faith journey.

Later this month the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will pass through both our dioceses, and it will be a profound experience and blessing for all those who participate. As we respond to this invitation to publicly witness Christ in our communities, it is also a good time celebrate the special bond we have with the Archdiocese of Hartford and its people. The Diocese of Bridgeport was created out of the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1953, and we continue to share a close relationship of mutual support and cooperation.

I ask for prayers for Archbishop Coyne as he takes over leadership of the Archdiocese of Hartford, and for our friend Archbishop Blair who has reverently and faithfully shepherded the Archdiocese and its people. Together let us seek to renew the Church in Connecticut as we celebrate our unity found in the Eucharist, and our hope rooted in the experience of our Risen Lord in our parishes and faith communities.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano