By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tLike members of any profession, bishops come with different skill sets: Some may be bricks-and-mortar men, some have a flair for public relations, some are formidable behind-the-scenes powerbrokers, and some are just simple pastoral figures.
tThen there’s Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, who for most of his ecclesiastical career has been the guy who makes the church's trains run on time.
tSchnurr says his favorite subjects in school were math and physics (in addition, of course, to religion), and it shows. His reputation for no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts mamagerial skill have landed him at one point or another in almost every administrative position of consequence in the American Catholic church: After various gigs in his home diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, Schnurr was called to work at the nunciature, or papal embassy, in Washington, D.C., in 1985. Four years later he joined the staff of the bishops’ conference, eventually serving as general secretary from 1995 to 2001.
tIn the midst of all that, the U.S. bishops tapped Schnurr to organize the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado.