Paul Francis Leibold
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Paul Leibold was born in Dayton, Ohio, to Frank and Philomena (née Kirchner) Leibold. After graduating from Chaminade High School, and attending the University of Dayton for two years, he continued his studies at St. Gregory Seminary and at Mount St. Mary's Seminary.
He was ordained a priest in Cincinnati, May 18, 1940, by Archbishop McNicholas. Early assignments within the diocese were pastor of St. Louis Church in Cincinnati, and assistant chancellor and chancellor for the archdiocese of Cincinnati. On April 10, 1958 he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati. He was consecrated bishop June 17, 1958 and at the same time he was made titular bishop of Trebenna. Principal Consecrator was Archbishop Karl Joseph Alter.
Possibly the most historical event of his career happened as a result of his acting as spiritual director for a young nun living in Ohio and Indiana. In 1963, while Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, he issued an imprimatur to a diary of private revelations written by Sr. Mildred Ephrem Neuzil while she was serving at a convent (Kneipp Springs) in Rome City, IN. It was here that she claimed she was visited multiple times by the Virgin Mary who declared herself to be "Our Lady of America" and gave her important messages to be given to America's Bishops..
After issuing his imprimatur to the messages written down by Sr. Neuzil, later on, as Archbishop of Cincinnati, he went on to commission a statue, plaques, and even a medal to take these apparitions to the second level of Church confirmation. However, it did not advance beyond this level.
On April 4, 1966 Paul Francis Leibold was appointed Bishop of Evansville, Indiana, and installed as Bishop of the diocese June 15, 1966. Bishop Paul Francis Leibold was appointed to Cincinnati July 23, 1969 following the retirement of Archbishop Alter at the same time. Upon installation as Archbishop, Paul Francis Leibold became seventh Bishop and sixth Archbishop of Cincinnati.
One historian has characterized him as "both a warm-hearted, approachable pastor and a hard-worker." But he was not to become a national leader among America's bishops as his predecessors had been.
He served the Archdiocese until his untimely death on June 1, 1972. The most significant accomplishments of his brief service as Archbishop of Cincinnati include the strengthening of the Archdiocesan Priests' Senate, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, and the parish councils of the Archdiocese. He also launched the diocese's sixth synod, Synod '71.
He is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
- Roger Fortin, Faith and Action: A History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821–1996, pp. 358–359.
- Roger Fortin, Faith and Action: A History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821–1996, pp. 362.