Recently retired Anchorage Archbishop Emeritus Roger Schwietz will need to undergo surgery following a minor heart attack on April 28. The 76-year-old prelate is recovering well after being released from the hospital April 30, but he needs to have his aortic valve replaced.
“So far tests have shown the procedure should go well,” he told the Catholic Anchor on May 22. “I will be seeing a cardiologist on June 6 and then receive information on the actual date of the procedure.”
He noted that his health has been stabilized and there was no permanent damage to his heart.
“So far, my medications are working well and I am feeling much better and almost back to normal,” he said.
The morning of his heart attack, Archbishop Schwietz experienced chest pains while preparing to celebrate Mass at St. Andrew Church in Eagle River.
According to a statement by the archdiocese, he was taken by ambulance to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage where he received immediate cardio vascular care. Doctors found no obstructions but kept him at the hospital for observation.
Upon returning home, the archbishop was in good spirits.
“The good news is that the doctors did find out that I do in fact have a heart,” he quipped.
He expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he received.
“I am deeply appreciative of the many expressions of prayer that have been sent to me and I am humbled by the kindness of so many people,” he said.
Archbishop Schwietz led the Anchorage Archdiocese for 15 years. He stepped down on November 9 of last year and was succeeded by Archbishop Paul Etienne.
Since then Archbishop Schwietz has served as pastor of St. Andrew Church in Eagle River, where he ministers with Father Arthur Roraff.