Photos by Richard Meek | THE CATHOLIC COMMENTATOR
Baton Rouge Bishop Robert W. Muench, who spent 28 years as a priest and then an auxiliary bishop of New Orleans and has served as the fifth bishop of Baton Rouge since 2002, will be succeeded in Baton Rouge by Shreveport Bishop Michael Duca, far left.
Bishop Duca, seen wiping away tears at the June 26 announcement in Baton Rouge, will be installed as the sixth bishop of Baton Rouge on Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral.
Though Bishop Muench is technically not a New Orleans “native” – he moved here with his family when he was 3 – his love for his hometown was crystallized in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The Baton Rouge Diocese welcomed the displaced leadership of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and made room for thousands of Catholic school students. “When push comes to shove, people respond from the heart,and I’ve seen that in Katrina and I’ve seen that in the (recent) flooding (in the Baton Rouge area),” Bishop Muench said. “We saw neighbors helping neighbors. It was moving to me to see how many people helped.”