Used With Diocesan Permission

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, today announced the appointment of the Most Reverend David L. Ricken as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay. Bishop Ricken will take possession of this Diocese at a special ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 28, at a time and location to be determined. Bishop Ricken, age 55, is the Bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming. A native of Dodge City, Kansas, Bishop Ricken was born Nov. 9, 1952, to George William "Bill" and Bertha (Davis) Ricken. He attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Grade School in Dodge City, and St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, Kansas, before entering college at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, (1970-72) and graduating from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. Bishop Ricken conducted his theological studies for the Diocese of Pueblo at St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium where he earned his STB (master's equivalent) degree and completed his seminary formation.

Bishop Ricken was ordained a priest on Sept. 12, 1980, by the Bishop of Pueblo, Arthur Tafoya, at La Junta Catholic Parish in southeast Colorado. His first appointment was as associate pastor to the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo. Five years later, he was named the administrator of Holy Rosary Parish in Pueblo and vice chancellor of the Diocese. In 1987, then-Father Ricken attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he received his Licentiate degree (J.C.L.) in Canon Law (church law) in 1989. Upon returning to the diocese, was appointed the vocation director and vicar for ministry formation. Three years later, he added diocesan chancellor to his responsibilities as well as assisting in the Diocesan Tribunal. He served in these positions until Oct. 1, 1996, when he was nominated to be an official of the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican where he served through December 1999.

On Jan. 6, 2000, Ricken was ordained to the episcopacy for the Diocese of Cheyenne at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. The Mass of Welcome to the Diocese of Cheyenne took place on Feb. 11, 2000, in Cheyenne. On Sept. 26, 2001, Bishop Ricken succeeded Bishop Joseph Hart as the leader of the Diocese of Cheyenne. Bishop Ricken is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Bishops' Committee on Catechesis and served on the editorial oversight board for the National Directory of Catechesis. He is the Chairman of the Committee on the American College of Louvain, Belgium, and a member of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. He is currently on the board of trustees for the Our Lady of the New Advent Theological Institute in Denver and for the Catholic Mutual Relief Society. He is a member of the Bishop's Advisory Council for the Institute for Priestly Formation and serves on the Board of Regents for Conception Seminary College. He is past-President of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and a past member of the Committee on Home Missions.

Bishop Ricken will become the twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, succeeding the Most Rev. David A. Zubik who served as Green Bay's Bishop from Dec. 12, 2003, to Sept. 28, 2007. Since September, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has been this Diocese's apostolic administrator. He will continue in this capacity until the newly appointed Bishop is installed on Aug. 28.


Renae Bauer said...

Thanks for spreading the good news, Fr. Jim, about Bishop Ricken. It was a pleasure to work with him yesterday. Very down to earth, humble and a great sense of humor.

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