Today the Holy Father named Msgr. Michael J. Hoeppner of the clergy of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota to succeed Bishop Victor Herman Balke as bishop of the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota. Bishop Balke's resignation, submitted over a year ago when he turned 75, was accepted by the Holy Father. Bishop Balke served as bishop of Crookston for thirty-one years. In this day and age that is incredible and wonderful. With Hoeppner's appointment, unlike other recent episcopal appointments, no new vacancy is created.
However, the number of vacant dioceses remains at ten. Sede vacante dioceses in the U.S. are: Charleston, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Green Bay, Wisconsin; the Military Archdiocese; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Shreveport, Louisiana; Great Falls/Billings, Montana; Little Rock, Arkansas; New Ulm, Minnesota. But, the number of ordinaries serving beyond the mandatory retirement age of 75 shrinks to nine.