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Archbishop Allen Vigneron

Allen Henry Vigneron was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan, on October 21, 1948. The eldest of six children (four brothers, one sister), he grew up in Immaculate Conception Parish, Anchorville, attending the parish grade school through eighth grade.

With encouragement from his parents, family, grade school principal, and pastor, Archbishop Vigneron entered the high school program of Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, in September 1962. After completing the twelfth grade, he continued there for college. In June 1970, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in both classical languages and philosophy. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on JUly 26, 1975. Following ordination, he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (1976) and Doctor of Philosophy (1985).

In 1988, he was appointed academic dean of Sacred Heart Seminary and became a key member of the team working to realize Cardinal Edmund Szoka’s vision for transforming the institution into a “major seminary” offering graduate theological education.

In the fall of 1991, Archbishop Vigneron returned to Rome to serve as an official of the Administrative Section of the Vatican Secretariat of State. In the spring of 1994, he returned to Detroit to become the second rector-president of the re-founded Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

On June 12, 1996, Archbishop Vigneron was named an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit by Pope John Paul II, receiving his episcopal ordination from Cardinal Adam Maida, Archbishop of Detroit, on July 9. On January 10, 2003, he was named Coadjutor Bishop of Oakland, California, and succeeded to the See of Oakland on October 1, 2003.

On January 5, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Vigneron as the fifth Archbishop of Detroit. He was installed on January 28, 2009, succeeding Cardinal Maida.

Since his installation, Archbishop Vigneron has led a missionary transformation of the Church in Detroit. This transformation began in 2014 with a Year of Prayer. During 2016, listening sessions were held at every parish to learn how the faithful felt the Archdiocese of Detroit could move from maintenance to mission. In November 2016, Archbishop Vigneron led a Synod during which over 400 participants – clergy, religious and laity – gathered to pray, share and discern a plan to renew the Church in Detroit.

The fruit of those efforts was Archbishop Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, released on the Feast of Pentecost 2017. In this letter, Archbishop gave the roadmap for the missionary transformation of the Archdiocese of Detroit. This foundational document is the repository of the graces of Synod 16 that allows the work of the movement to unleash the Gospel to move forward with confidence, focus and resolve.

  • Born: Oct. 21, 1948
  • Ordained Detroit Priest: July 26, 1975
  • Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan: June 12, 1996
  • Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit: July 9, 1996
  • Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Oakland: Jan. 10, 2003
  • Installed Coadjutor Bishop of Oakland: Feb. 26, 2003
  • Succeeded as Third Bishop of Oakland: Oct. 1, 200
  • Appointed Tenth Ordinary and Fifth Archbishop of Detroit: Jan. 5, 2009
  • Installed Archbishop of Detroit: Jan. 28, 2009