ST. FRANCIS — Following Bishop Donald J. Hying’s ordination on Wednesday, July 20, about 325 guests celebrated with a reception at Saint Francis Seminary, St. Francis. The choice of the seminary as the site of the reception was an easy decision, according to planning committee member, Jerry Topczewski.
“The combination of the archdiocese’s financial position, coupled with Fr. Don’s personal preference and the fact that he’s a humble person, made it the perfect location,” said Topczewski.
Even though he said there were offers by donors to underwrite the cost of a fancier venue, the planning committee rejected a more costly celebration while the archdiocese is in Chapter 11 reorganization.
“We’re in Chapter 11 and we thought it wouldn’t present the right message or quite frankly, be affordable,” said Topczewski of another location. “Fr. Don instantly agreed that he didn’t want to have anything appear too fancy, and because of his obvious connection to the seminary (as seminary rector), the decision was made in seconds,” he said of the decision which reflects Bishop Hying’s humble personality.
“In conversation with the planning committee, it just seemed right to have the dinner at one of our own facilities, and what better place than the seminary?” said Bishop Hying when asked of the decision.
Recent receptions following the installation of Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan on Aug. 28, 2002, and the ordination of Bishop William P. Callahan on Dec. 21, 2007, were held at the Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee. That venue was chosen for Archbishop Dolan’s reception because, according to Topczewski, it could accommodate the large number of people the archbishop knew. It was chosen for Bishop Callahan’s event because its proximity to the cathedral made it a convenient location, given the unpredictability of winter weather. Likewise when Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki was installed on Jan. 4, 2010.
In addition to Topczewski, members of the planning committee included Barbara Anne Cusack, Fr. James Lobacz, Faye Herrick, Dean Daniels and Julie Wolf.