Carl Frederick Mengeling

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Carl Frederick Mengeling
Bishop Emeritus of Lansing
Archdiocese Detroit
Diocese Lansing
Appointed November 7, 1995
Installed January 25, 1996
Term ended February 27, 2008
Predecessor Kenneth Joseph Povish
Successor Earl Alfred Boyea, Jr.
Ordination May 25, 1957
by Andrew Gregory Grutka
Consecration January 25, 1996
by Adam Maida, Kenneth Joseph Povish, and Dale Joseph Melczek
Personal details
Born (1930-10-22)October 22, 1930
Hammond, Indiana
Parents Carl and Augusta (née Huke) Mengeling
Motto "He must increase."
Styles of
Carl Frederick Mengeling
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Carl Frederick Mengeling (born October 22, 1930) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Lansing from 1996 to 2008.


Carl Mengeling was born in Hammond, Indiana, as the second of the four children of Carl and Augusta (née Huke) Mengeling, both German immigrants. He was raised as a Lutheran but later baptized as a Catholic at the age of nine. Mengeling attended St. Mary Elementary School in Griffith, and graduated from Griffith High School in 1948, whence he entered St. Meinrad College and Seminary.

He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Andrew Grutka on May 25, 1957, as one of the first priests of the Diocese of Gary. Mengeling then served as associate pastor of St. Mark's Church in Gary until 1961. He then furthered his studies in Rome, where he attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), obtaining his Licentiate of Sacred Theology, and the Alphonsian Academy, earning a Doctorate in Sacred Theology. He acted as a page during some of the sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as well.

He was present at the opening session of the Second Vatican Council as a page. Also present were the first and second bishops of Lansing, namely Joseph H. Albers was there; and Alexander M. Zaleski.[1]

Upon his return to the United States in 1964, Mengeling began teaching at Bishop Noll High School in Hammond, St. Joseph Calumet College in East Chicago, and St. Procopius Seminary in Lisle, Illinois. He served as pastor of All Saints Parish in Hammond from 1968 to 1970, whence he became pastor of Holy Name Parish in Cedar Lake. Mengeling was pastor of Nativity of Our Savior in Portage (1971-1985) and later of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster (1985-1995). Raised to the rank of Monsignor in June 1984, he chaired the Diocesan Worship Commission and the Vocations Committee in Gary, as well as founding the diocesan Institute of Religion and chairing it for fourteen years. He also served on the Presbyteral Council, the Ecumenical Commission and the Permanent Diaconate Formation team.

On November 7, 1995, Mengeling was appointed the fourth Bishop of Lansing by Pope John Paul II.[1][2][3] He received his episcopal consecration on January 25, 1996 from Adam Cardinal Maida, with Bishops Kenneth Povish and Dale Melczek serving as co-consecrators, in St. Mary Cathedral. Mengeling selected as his episcopal motto: "He must increase" (John 3:30).

During his tenure, the Bishop has opened several parochial schools and churches. He has also involved himself with the activities of Hispanic, Vietnamese, and African-American Catholics in his diocese. In response to sexual misconduct scandals among the clergy, he instituted the Virtus program in 2003 and has visited retreats for victims of sexual abuse. Also in 2003, he issued a statement on the war in Iraq, calling for "a swift end to hostilities and commitment to reconciliation..."[4]

Mengeling retired as Bishop on February 27, 2008, after twelve years of service. He was succeeded by Earl Alfred Boyea, Jr.[5][6]

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Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Kenneth Joseph Povish
Bishop of Lansing
Succeeded by
Earl Alfred Boyea, Jr.