The tenth bishop of Burlington has been called to serve as coadjutor archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut.

Archbishop Christopher Coyne will succeed Archbishop Leonard Blair in 2024 when in keeping with Church law Archbishop Blair submits his resignation at the age of 75.

It was “humbling” to be named archbishop of Hartford, said Archbishop Coyne, who became bishop of Burlington in 2014. “I loved being in Burlington and did not seek to move but accepted the appointment and will do his my in Hartford.”

During his tenure in the statewide Diocese, he faced numerous challenges including the pandemic, the continuing fallout from the past clergy abuse crisis, merging of churches, and efforts to enshrine the right to an abortion in the Vermont constitution.

Among his accomplishments, he carried out a Diocesan Synod and ministered with clergy, staff, and parish leaders through the Covid-19 pandemic and maintained the good works of the Catholic schools of the state. Under his leadership, the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation was established to foster and support the ministries of the Church throughout the state. He also was instrumental in the establishment of the first Catholic radio station in Vermont, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio, WRXJ 105.5.

“I am most proud of the way the staff has developed over my time here,” said Archbishop Coyne. “The senior staff who provide leadership not only for the chancery building but really the entire Diocese has changed during my tenure, and we have brought on some good men and women. Most of the senior leadership is composed of women. Placing women in leadership roles — not because they were women but really the most qualified — and supporting them was important to me. I am leaving the Diocese in good hands.”

The archbishop is thankful for the support the people of the Diocese have given him and for the outreach they do to help people in need.

As archbishop of Hartford, he will be responsible for the spiritual shepherding of the half-million Catholics in Hartford, New Haven, and Litchfield counties.

Archbishop Coyne will be welcomed in the Archdiocese of Hartford with a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford on Oct. 9 at 2 p.m.

He is serving as the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Burlington until his welcome in the Archdiocese of Hartford. At that time, Msgr. John McDermott, vicar for clergy and chancellor of the Diocese of Burlington, will become the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Burlington until a new bishop is appointed by Pope Francis.

A Woburn, Massachusetts, native, Archbishop Coyne received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and graduated with a master of divinity degree from St. John’s Seminary in Boston. Ordained in 1986 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, he served as a pastor and as cabinet secretary for communications and archdiocesan spokesman. He also received his doctorate in sacred liturgy from the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy at Sant’ Anselmo in Rome and taught at St. John’s Seminary from 1994-2006.  He was an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in Indiana from 2011 to 2015.

Archbishop Coyne has been known for his relatable preaching, his use of social media to share the Good News, and his culinary skills.

—Originally publishes in the Fall 2023 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.