Bishop Joseph W. Tobin could not imagine why his name was all over social media recently. When he found out the reason, it came as a shock. Pope Francis had elevated the Archbishop of the Indianapolis Archdiocese to Cardinal, one of three American bishops to receive the honor. Tobin said his initial reaction was shock, and admitted he was, “A little embarrassed” at the promotion.
Tobin is one of 17 newly promoted cardinals from 14 countries, who will advise Pope Francis on a variety of church related issues. It also marks the first time a sitting archbishop of Indianapolis has been promoted to cardinal. Tobin said his role will not change too much. He will continue to serve as Indianapolis’s archbishop, though he added he may travel to Rome more often to meet with Pope Francis. Tobin said he plans to keep working with community and other local faith leaders to promote unity throughout Indianapolis.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1952, Tobin was ordained a priest in 1978. He served as General Consultor of the Redemptorist Fathers in the 1990s and was also the Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer from 1997-2009. Tobin was named the Archbishop of Indianapolis in 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Wisconsin’s Holy Redeemer College and masters degrees in religious education and divinity from New York’s Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary.
Tobin officially becomes a bishop on November 19th, 2016.