Born in Milwaukee on September 6, 1935, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz attended St. Wenceslaus parochial school in Milwaukee, and then attended St. Lawrence Seminary at Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Pontifical North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest on July 17, 1960, in Rome, at the Church of the Twelve Apostles by Cardinal Traglia, the Vicar General of Rome. He served as an assistant pastor in parishes near Milwaukee, and then did graduate work at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology in 1969. He taught for a very brief time at St. Francis Seminary, and then worked in the Congregation for Catholic Education, a department of the Holy See, in Rome, for eleven years. Bishop Bruskewitz was named a Monsignor in 1976 and elevated to be a Prelate of Honor 1980. In 1980, he became the pastor of Saint Bernard Parish in a suburb of Milwaukee, and in 1992, was named the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. He was consecrated a bishop and installed in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, on May 13, 1992.
As Bishop of Lincoln in 1995, he inaugurated a year of reflection, teaching and adoration of our Eucharistic Lord by promoting parish prayers and days of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, a diocesan pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the year culminating in a Eucharistic Congress Mass with approximately 5000 people in attendance. This was a year of preparation for the Diocesan Synod of 1996. The Diocesan Synod, in which the entire Diocese participated, had a reflective, prayerful focus on all aspects of diocesan life.
The sponsorship of the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital was assumed by the Diocese to preserve its local ownership and the Catholic nature of this well-known rehabilitation facility. Paul VI Heights was built in Lincoln to provide affordable housing in the promotion of family life for those with poor or moderate incomes. A new college seminary, Saint Gregory the Great Seminary opened in the Diocese in 1998. Among other events, Bishop Bruskewitz greeted the arrival of a group of Carmelite nuns in the diocese, and in 2000, he welcomed the opening of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, as well as the arrival of a group of men religious following the Cistercian Rule. Priestly and religious vocations, Catholic education, Catholic health care, and Catholic social services are some of the many areas of diocesan life that continue to be promoted by Bishop Bruskewitz.
Under Bishop Bruskewiz's leadership as Bishop of Lincoln, the following Schools and Parishes were opened: All Saints School, Holdrege; North American Martyrs School and Parish, Lincoln; St. Vincent DePaul School, Seward; St. Michael School, Lincoln; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, North Platte; St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Franklin; St. Andrew Dung Lac & Companions Parish, Lincoln; Cristo Rey Parish, Lincoln.
On September 14, 2012, Pope Benedict accepted Bishop Bruskewitz's retirement as the Bishop of Lincoln, and at the same time appointed him as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese until Bishop James Conley was installed on November 20, 2012.