New Polish Bishop In Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Pope Francis recently appointed Bishop-elect David John Walkowiak (wall-COE-vee-ack), a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio to be the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids which serves 82 parishes and 182,000 Catholics in West Michigan.
The announcement was made by the Vatican on April 18th, 2013. Bishop-elect Walkowiak succeeds Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley who submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 at age 75 as required by canon law. He retired on June 18th, the same day Bishop-elect Walkowiak was ordained to the episcopacy and installed as bishop of Grand Rapids during a Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.
“I am grateful to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this apostolic office as bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids,” said Bishop-elect Walkowiak. “In accepting this appointment I renew my trust in the Lord who asks me to set out again on a new mission. I thank God for providing me with the opportunity to serve this local church, which I pray will be a blessing to its people.”
Bishop-elect Walkowiak grew up in Westlake, Ohio and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cleveland in 1979. His first assignment was to Saint Mary Parish in Lorain, Ohio. After receiving a doctorate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America, he was assigned to the faculty of Saint Mary Seminary in Wickliffe and to the Chancery staff of the Diocese of Cleveland, positions he held from 1986 to 2006. He also served as an associate judge of the appellate tribunal for the Province of Cincinnati. His father John and sisters Sue, Jan, and Carol all reside in Cleveland. Prior to being ordained Bishop, he served as pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Chagrin Falls. He celebrated his 60th birthday the same day he was ordained to the episcopacy.
“Catholics in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are fortunate to have someone with Bishop-elect Walkowiak’s experience to lead the faithful of West Michigan into the future,” Bishop Hurley said of the appointment. “Bishop-elect Walkowiak’s education, service to the Church and pastoral ministry to the people of the Diocese of Cleveland will be of great benefit in this new role to which he has been called.”
The Diocese of Grand Rapids, which encompasses an 11-county area of West Michigan, serves over 182,000 Catholics, 82 parishes and 32 schools. For additional information, visit our website www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org. Connect with the diocese on Facebook (Diocese of Grand Rapids) and Twitter (GRDiocese).