South Dakota priest named bishop of Cheyenne

Bishop-elect Steven Biegler. Photo courtesy of the USCCB

Pope Francis appointed Father Steven Biegler, a priest of the Diocese of Rapid City, SD, as bishop of Cheyenne. He replaces Archbishop Paul Etienne, who was appointed Archbishop of Anchorage in late 2016.

Bishop-elect Biegler, 57, a South Dakota native was ordained in 1993. He attended the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Sacred Theology degree (S.T.B.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a licentiate of sacred theology (S.T. L., Scripture) from the Pontifical University

He has served in a wide variety of pastoral and administrative assignments and is currently vicar general. He was diocesan administrator in 2010-2011.

His episcopal ordination is scheduled for June 5.

For the USCCB Press Release, click here.

For the Catholic News Agency (March 16, 2017) report, click here.

For a report from Rocco Palmo’s (March 16, 2017) blog, click here.

Update on the Catholic Second Wind Guild

Father Ron Knott, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville and founder of the Catholic Second Wind Guild, a ministry to help bishops and priests in the Caribbean islands of the Grenadines and Barbados, is looking for priests who would consider a “mission vacation” in the Caribbean.

We wrote about the Catholic Second Wind Guild in NFPC This Week, #675 – 8/28-9/3/2016 [].

To find out more about a “mission vacation,” click here for a PDF.  Or contact Fr. Ron at (502) 303-4571. E-mail: [email protected]

Father Stanley Rother to be beatified in September

Fr. Stanley Rother. Illustration courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

The Catholic News Service (March 13, 2017) reported that Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, who was gunned down in his rectory by assassins in Guatemala in April 1981 will be beatified on Sept. 23.

In an interview published March 13 by The Oklahoman daily newspaper, Archbishop Coakley said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, will be representing the pope at the beatification ceremony in Oklahoma City. It will take the priest one step closer to sainthood. In general, following beatification, a miracle attributed to the intercession of the person being considered for sainthood is required for that person to be declared a saint.

The Vatican congregation recognized Father Rother’s martyrdom last December. [See NFPC This Week, #688 – 11/27-12/3/2016]

A 2015 biography of Fr. Rother, published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing described the life and ministry of the Okarche, OK priest. The book written by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, is titled “The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run: Fr. Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma.”   

For the CNS report, click here.

For the NFPC This Week annotated review of Fr. Rother’s biography, click here.

Pope Francis names two auxiliary bishops

So far this week Pope Francis named two auxiliary bishops––one for St. Louis and one for Washington, DC

Bishop-elect Mark Rivituso. Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Review

In St. Louis, the pope appointed Monsignor Mark Rivituso, 55 as auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese.

Bishop-elect Rivituso, a native of St. Louis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cardinal Glennon College and earned a master’s degree in Divinity from Kenrick Seminary. He also holds licentiate and master’s degrees in Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. He was ordained a priest on January 16, 1988.

He has held a variety of pastoral and administrative assignments including, judicial vicar of the Tribunal of Second Instance from 2005-2011, and on staff at the Metropolitan Tribunal from 1993-1994 and 1996-2004. He was also associate master of ceremonies to the Archbishop from 1997-2008. Bishop-elect Rivituso is currently vicar general of the archdiocese serving in that post since 2011.

Bishop-elect Roy E. Campbell. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Washington

In Washington, DC Pope Francis appointed Father Roy E. Campbell, Jr., 69, as auxiliary bishop.

Bishop-elect Campbell, a native of southern Maryland was ordained a priest in 2007. A graduate of Howard University and the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Retail Bank Management, he had a 33-year career with Bank of America, working his way up from teller to vice president and project manager. In the 1980s, he served for five years on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association of Maryland.

In January 2003, he entered Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, to begin his priestly formation, and completed his seminary studies in 2007, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree.

He has held a variety of pastoral and administrative assignments including member of the Archdiocesan Formation Board, 2010-2014; member of the Clergy Personnel Board, 2010. He is currently pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Largo, MD.

His ordination is scheduled for April 21 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew.

For the USCCB News Release (March 7, 2017), click here.

For the Catholic Standard (March 8, 2017) report, click here.

What a priest learned from ministering in hospice

Father Michael Griffin, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Fall, SD and editor of The Bishop’s Bulletin, the diocesan monthly publication, shares some piercing reflections of those he has ministered to in hospice. He writes those who have a short time left to live their lives have a powerful insight into what really matters. They have a lesson to teach.

There are five regrets that hospice patients often mention as “I wish I had …..”

The first regret is: “I wish I had let myself be happier.”

The second is: “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

The third is: “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

The fourth is: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

And the fifth regret is: “I wish I had the courage to live my life, instead of the one others expected of me.”

For Father Griffin, he finds the fifth regret the saddest, and on a personal level asks, “Whose life are we living anyway?”

For Fr. Griffin’s column in the January 2017 edition of The Bishop’s Bulletin, click here.

Biblical scholar Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmyer dead at 96

Fr_FitzmyerLeading Catholic biblical scholar Father Joseph Fitzmyer, SJ died on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 in Philadelphia at the age of 96.

Born in Philadelphia in 1920 and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1951, Fr. Fitzmyer is probably best known for co-editing “The Jerome Biblical Commentary” and his contributions to the Anchor Bible Series.

An expert in the Aramaic language spoken by Christ and by many first-century Jews and Christians, the priest was noted for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospel of Luke. He did some of the initial work in the 1950s to prepare a concordance to the scrolls and was one of the first Americans to have direct access to the documents.

He founded the Institute on Sacred Scripture at Georgetown University, and he taught at a number of schools including the now-closed Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown, the University of Chicago, Fordham University, Boston College and The Catholic University of America.

A funeral Mass took place on Jan. 5 at St. Matthias Church in Bala Cynwyd, just outside Philadelphia, followed by a burial at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville.

For more on Fr. Fitzmyer’s death, click here for the America magazine posting (Dec. 24, 2016).


Lexington bishop supports worker rights

Conventual Franciscan Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, KY wrote a message to State legislators in Kentucky in early January appealing them to vote against anti-union “right to work” legislation and using the tenets of Catholic social teaching to illuminate the issue before them.

Bishop Stowe stated in part, “Workers cannot be treated merely as a means for corporate profit and production, but must be seen as autonomous human beings who contribute to the common good through their work. “

Invoking Pope Leo XIII’s seminal encyclical on Catholic social teaching, Rerum Novarum, he noted that works have the rights to organize for their just rights which decent wages and safe working conditions.

“In Catholic teaching,” Bishop Stowe continued, “unions are described as an indispensable element of social life.  Unions are to promote solidarity among workers.  They are essential for economic justice and to protect the rights of workers.”

For Bishop Stowe’s entire statement, click here.

Two auxiliary bishops appointed for Milwaukee 

Bishops-elect Jeffrey Haines (left) James Schuerman. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Bishops-elect Jeffrey Haines (left) and James Schuerman. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Pope Francis named two Milwaukee archdiocesan priests as auxiliary bishops for the archdiocese – Fr. Jeffrey Haines and Fr. James Schuerman.

Bishop-elect Jeffrey Haines, 58, a native of Milwaukee, was ordained in 1985 after completing studies for his master of divinity degree at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in St. Francis, Wis. He also studied canon law at the Catholic University of America in 2002. After ordination he served in a variety of pastoral assignments and currently is Pastor/Rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. According to a news release form the archdiocese, Bishop- elect Haines was elected three times as moderator of the Council of Priests. Currently he serves as member of the College of Consultors.

Bishop-elect James Schuerman, 58, a native of Burlington, Wis. was ordained in 1986. He attended St. Francis de Sales Seminary where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He earned a master degree in theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, where he also continued his seminary studies at the Collegium Canisianum, Austria. He also holds a doctorate in ministry from the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, 1996.

From 1992-1996 was selected for missionary service at the archdiocesan sister parish, La Sagrada Familia in he Dominican Republic. He speaks German and is fluent in Spanish.

Like Bishop-elect Haines, he served in a variety of pastoral assignments and is currently pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church in Lake Geneva, Wis. Bishop-elect Schuerman also serves as adjunct spiritual director for St. Francis de Sales Seminary.

As of this writing, no date was announced for the bishops’-elect episcopal ordinations.

For the Communication from Archdiocese of Milwaukee, click here.

For the USCCB News Release (Jan. 25, 2017), click here.


San Antonio priest named auxiliary bishop

Bishop-elect Michael Boulette. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Bishop-elect Michael Boulette. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

On Jan. 23, Pope Francis named Monsignor Michael J. Boulette as auxiliary bishop of San Antonio.

Bishop-elect Boulette, 66, a native of Hudson Falls, NY was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of San Antonio in 1976. Raised in Texas, he was formed through the Roman Catholic seminaries in the Archdiocese of San Antonio and completed his theological degrees and formation at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend where he received master’s degrees in Theology and Divinity in 1975. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Mary University in 1971 and a master’s degree in Psychology from Trinity University in 1972. He received his Doctorate of Ministry from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1993.

Since his ordination, Bishop-elect Boulette served in a variety of pastoral appointments. In 2004 he was commissioned to begin a new ministry for the archdiocese, St. Peter Upon the Water Center for Spiritual Direction were he has also served as director since its founding.

His episcopal ordination is scheduled for March 20 at a site in San Antonio to be determined.

For the Communication from the Archdiocese of San Antonio, click here.

For the USCCB News Release, click here.


Pope appoints Cardinal O’Malley to CDF post

Pope Francis appointed Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap. a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The appointment was announced in a Vatican communiqué on Jan. 14.

The cardinal is already a member of the pope’s Council of Cardinals and president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

For the Catholic News Agency (Jan. 14, 2017), click here.

For the Vatican communiqué, click here.