Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Thomas G. Wenski, GSAS ’93, archbishop of Miami. Bishop Wenski, who has led the Diocese of Orlando since November 2004, will succeed Archbishop John C. Favalora on June 1.
Born in West Palm Beach in 1950, Bishop Wenski grew up in Lake Worth, Fla. After studying at St. John Vianney Minor Seminary in Miami and St. Vincent de Paul Major Seminary in Boynton Beach, he earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and master’s degree in divinity at the Boynton Beach Seminary in 1972 and 1975, respectively. He earned his master’s degree in sociology at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1993.
Ordained a priest in 1976, he served three years as associate pastor of Corpus Christi Church, a mainly Hispanic parish in Miami. After ministering for a short time in Haiti, he was assigned to the Haitian Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Miami in 1979. Later, he served as director of the Pierre Toussaint Haitian Catholic Center in Miami until 1997, when he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Miami.
Wenski, who is fluent in three languages—English, Spanish and Creole—has devoted most of his ministry to the Haitian and Hispanic communities in Florida. As director of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Miami, he led an effort to provide more than 150,000 pounds of food to Caritas Cuba for Hurricane Lily relief efforts. He also served concurrently as pastor of three Haitian mission parishes in the archdiocese—Notre-Dame d’Haiti in Miami, Divine Mercy in Fort Lauderdale and St. Joseph in Pompano Beach.
Bishop Wenski is a past chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees on migration and international policy.
In 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Orlando. He became the fourth bishop of the diocese in November 2004.