Most Reverend Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., who served as the ninth Archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 until his retirement in 2002, died overnight at Clement Manor in Greenfield, where he lived, after a long illness. He was 95.
Weakland was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee by Pope Paul VI on Sept. 20, 1977. He was ordained a bishop Nov. 8, 1977, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee, and on the same occasion was installed as Milwaukee’s ninth archbishop.
Born April 2, 1927, in Patton, Pennsylvania, Weakland entered the novitiate of St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1945. He was ordained to the priesthood June 24, 1951, at Subiaco, Italy. In 1964, he received a papal appointment as consultor to the Commission for Implementing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, and was appointed a member of that commission in 1968.
He was elected abbot primate of the International Benedictine Confederation on Sept. 29, 1967. At this time, he also became chancellor of the International Benedictine College of Sant’Anselmo, Rome, Italy. He was re-elected to a second term as abbot primate in September 1973. He served as a member of the Council of Superiors General from 1968 until 1977. He participated in the Synods of Bishops in 1969, 1971, 1973, 1987 and 1997. In 1999, Weakland received a Doctorate in Musicology, “with distinction,” from Columbia University, New York, for his research and thesis on “The Office Antiphons of the Ambrosian Chant.”
“For a quarter of a century, Archbishop Weakland led the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and his leadership embodied his Benedictine spirit,” said the Most Rev. Jerome E. Listecki, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. “His pastoral letter, ‘Eucharist without Walls,’ evoked his love for the Eucharist and its call to service. During his time, he emphasized an openness to the implementation of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, including the role of lay men and women in the Church, the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, Ecumenical dialog, and addressing societal issues, especially economic justice. May he now rest in peace.”
A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial with Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki presiding will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson Street, Milwaukee, on August 30, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. Priests are invited to concelebrate. Please bring an alb and white stole. Visitation will be held at the Cathedral on August 30, 2022, from noon to 4 p.m. Burial will be at the mausoleum at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.