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Cincinnati archbishop and Catholic radio host seek prayers amid cancer battles

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati and Catholic radio host Al Kresta are seeking prayers following respective cancer diagnoses. Archbishop Schnurr is beginning a six-month treatment plan that includes chemotherapy after a May 3, 2024, diagnosis of stage 3 small bowel cancer, and Kresta was diagnosed with liver cancer the same day. (OSV News photo/courtesy Archdiocese of Cincinnati/Ave Maria Radio)

(OSV News) — A Catholic archbishop and a longtime radio personality are in need of prayers following cancer diagnoses this week. Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati is beginning a six-month treatment plan that includes chemotherapy after a May 3 diagnosis of stage 3 small bowel cancer. Catholic radio host Al Kresta is also seeking prayers following a diagnosis of liver cancer on May 3.

In a statement May 7, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said that Archbishop Schnurr’s doctor noted, “generally speaking, the archbishop’s health is excellent, and that is certainly a source of optimism for the success of the treatment.”

The archdiocese also noted that Archbishop Schnurr plans to continue working amid treatment and asked “all Catholics and people of goodwill to please keep Archbishop Schnurr in their prayers.”

Schnurr, 75, has served as archbishop of Cincinnati since 2009 and was coadjutor bishop from 2008. Prior to that, beginning in 2001, he was bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota.

Al Kresta, host of “Kresta in the Afternoon” on Ave Maria Radio, is facing a liver cancer diagnosis. His show linked to a CaringBridge website with updates about his diagnosis, thanking those offering prayers and support.

“In early April Al began to notice during his regular gym time working with his new prosthesis that he was growing significantly weak and his abdomen was swelling,” a post on the website states. “After a month of tests on April 29th he was admitted to University of Michigan Hospital and on May 3rd he received the very difficult diagnosis of Liver Cancer.”

In the latest update on May 7, Kresta’s daughter, Alexis Love, requested prayers “for Al to regain his strength and get moved to a rehabilitation facility. Once there he will be working on getting strong enough to be able to receive a course of systemic cancer treatment. Over the course of the last month he has grown very weak.”

“The Multi-disciplinary Liver Tumor Clinic will decide how to treat his cancer based on his ability to withstand treatment so it is vital that he get good nutrition and that he regains some of his former strength,” Love wrote. “The stronger he can get over the next week or two the more robust the treatment plan can be.”

Kresta, 73, was formerly a top-rated Christian talk radio host and Protestant pastor in the 1980s and ’90s who converted to Catholicism.

In a statement on Facebook May 8, his show notes, “This is not the first time Al has faced a health challenge. In 2003, he lost his leg to Necrotizing fasciitis. For the next six months, the family of Ave Maria Radio listeners supported Al in prayer and buoyed him in his recovery. Our Ave Maria Radio family was strengthened by those challenges, and we are blessed by this opportunity to pray with our listeners again.”

They add that “Al is being treated by some of the best doctors in the world. He has placed his care in their hands and in the hands of the Lord and he is determined to get better. Thank you for your continued prayers.”

Lauretta Brown is culture editor for OSV News. Follow her on X (formerly Twitter) @LaurettaBrown6.

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