Having served as Bishop of the Lafayette Diocese from 1986 to 1994, Flynn holds a special place in the hearts of Lafayette residents. In a move many in Lafayette felt was too soon, Flynn was made coadjutor archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese in 1994 and then succeeded his predecessor as Archbishop of the area in 1995.
In his position as Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Flynn was appointed chair of the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees, a position he still holds today despite his retirement in the spring of 2008.
The university has a long-standing tradition whereby buildings on the university’s campus are named after the bishops and archbishops who have led the Catholic Church in the area since 1837. In keeping with this tradition, university officials have named a residence hall for undergraduate students on the St. Paul campus as Flynn Hall in honor of the Archbishop.
Flynn called the honor “a great, great surprise” and hopes that the students who live there today and in the future will “come to understand one thing…that God looks at each one of us individually and loves each one of us individually.”
He encourages students, in turn, to reach out to others and to share that love with them.
Dr. Ken LeBlanc, a Lafayette dentist and artist, was honored to paint the archbishop’s portrait to hang in the lobby of Flynn Hall.
“I have long admired Archbishop Flynn since his time as Bishop of Lafayette,” LeBlanc said. “My oldest daughter recently graduated from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and I could not be more pleased with her education. This portrait is my way of giving back and honoring a man who has given my community and my family so much.”