Robert William Muench

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Robert William Muench
Bishop of Baton Rouge
Archdiocese New Orleans
Diocese Baton Rouge
Appointed December 15, 2001
Installed March 14, 2002
Predecessor Alfred Clifton Hughes
Orders
Ordination May 18, 1968
Consecration June 29, 1990
by Francis B. Schulte, Philip Hannan, and John Favalora
Personal details
Born (1942-12-28) December 28, 1942 (age 74)
Louisville, Kentucky
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Parents William Anthony and Mary Kathryn (née Allgeier) Muench
Previous post Bishop of Covington (1996-2002)
Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans (1990-1996)
Motto JESUS MUST INCREASE
Styles of
Robert William Muench
Coat of arms of Robert William Muench.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Robert William Muench (born December 28, 1942) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the fifth and current Bishop of Baton Rouge, having previously served as Bishop of Covington from 1996 to 2002.

Early life and education[edit]

Robert Muench was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to William Anthony and Mary Kathryn (née Allgeier) Muench; he has three sisters, Jo Ann, Mary Alice, and Marsha.[1] At age 3, he and his family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. He entered St. Joseph Seminary in 1956, and then Notre Dame Seminary in 1962, from where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy.

From 1964 to 1968, Muench studied at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a Master's in Education. He also attended courses at Loyola University and the University of New Orleans.[1]

Priesthood[edit]

Muench was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1968.[2] He then sat on the faculty of St. John Vianney Preparatory School until 1977, serving as religion teacher, liturgy director, guidance counselor, and eventually rector. During this time, Muench also assisted at various parishes in New Orleans. He was associate pastor and later co-pastor of St. Matthias Church between 1976 and 1982.[1]

Muench served as Vicar for Christian Formation (1977-1981) and Director of Vocations (1981-1983) for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He was named Director of the Pope John XXIII House for Vocation Discernment and Executive Assistant to Archbishop Philip Hannan in 1983. After becoming a Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in 1985, he was made Vicar General (1989) and Moderator of the Curia (1990) for the archdiocese.[1]

Episcopal career[edit]

On May 8, 1990, Muench was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans and Titular Bishop of Mactaris by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 29 from Archbishop Francis Schulte, with Archbishop Hannan and Bishop John Favalora serving as co-consecrators.[2] He selected as his episcopal motto, "Jesus Must Increase" (John 3:30).[3]

Bishop of Covington[edit]

Muench was later named the ninth Bishop of Covington, Kentucky, on January 5, 1996, being formally installed on the following March 19. During his tenure, he oversaw the repair and renovation of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.

He was also a member on the Boards of St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Edgewood Hospital, Chancellor of Thomas More College, and a member of the Committee on Priestly Formation within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[1]

Bishop of Baton Rouge[edit]

John Paul II appointed Muench the fifth Bishop of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on December 15, 2001. His installation took place at its St. Joseph Cathedral on March 14, 2002.

Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Muench joined Archbishop Alfred Hughes and Governor Kathleen Blanco in a televised appearance declaring a day of prayer for the state of Louisiana.[4] He has also restricted the Legion of Christ and its lay branch, Regnum Christi, within the diocese because of the Legion's controversial recruiting practices.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Alfred Clifton Hughes
Bishop of Baton Rouge
2002–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
William Anthony Hughes
Bishop of Covington
1996–2002
Succeeded by
Roger Joseph Foys
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans
1990–1996
Succeeded by