Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz
LINCOLN, Neb. — Retired Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz is expected to make a complete recovery from a heart attack he suffered the morning of June 27 at his residence.

Taken by ambulance to Bryan Medical Center and hospitalized for a few days, he continues to recover at home.

In a posting on the diocese's Facebook page the day of his heart attack,  Bishop James D. Conley, who succeeded Bishop Bruskewitz when he retired in 2012, assured Catholics that their retired bishop was doing well, was comfortable and alert, and grateful for all of their prayers.

On July 5, the 78-year-old retired prelate was feeling well enough to meet with a group of students participating in an annual cross-country pro-life walk when they arrived in Lincoln. A diocesan statement said he  met the students at the John XXIII Diocesan Center and gave them his blessing before they departed for the next stop on their Crossroads walk.

Bishop Bruskewitz has been active in retirement, visiting various churches and convents around the southeastern Nebraska diocese.

JD Flynn, diocesan communications director, told the Lincoln Journal Star that many people had noted that Bishop Bruskewitz suffered his heart attack on the feast of the Sacred Heart.

"I'm sure the Sacred Heart was merciful to him as he went through this," Flynn told the daily newspaper. "He's a strong guy and everyone is expecting him to be ... at his full 100 percent as soon as possible."

Bishop Bruskewitz headed the Lincoln Diocese for 20 years.

During his tenure, he established new parishes and schools and a collegiate seminary, St. Gregory the Great Seminary, which opened in 1998. The diocese also opened an affordable housing development (1997), Camp Kateri Tekakwitha (2001), and St. Gianna's Women's Homes (2011).

In 1996, he oversaw a diocesan synod, and in 2000, a eucharistic congress, a weekend celebration for the church's great jubilee and a diocesan pilgrimage.

In 1999, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter built a seminary in Denton, Nebraska. The order of priests is dedicated to celebrating the Mass in the extraordinary form, commonly known as the Tridentine rite.

Among his writings, the bishop penned a regular column, "An Ordinary Viewpoint," for the diocesan newspaper, the Southern Nebraska Register. He compiled those columns into two books -- "A Shepherd Speaks" (1997) and "The Catholic Church: Jesus Christ Present in the World" (2007).

Over his years in Lincoln, various organizations have established chapters in the diocese, including the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla Guild/Catholic Medical Association and Legatus.

Born near Milwaukee and raised in that city, Bishop Bruskewitz has always credited his parents with creating an atmosphere that enabled him to realize his priestly vocation.