Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New bishop of Superior Diocese named, Bishop-elect James Powers, Wisconsin and Superior native; Updated

Pope Francis has named Fr. James Powers, 62, as bishop of Superior, Wisconsin; Fr. Powers is a priest of the diocese and serves as diocesan administrator.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, December 15 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Powers was born February 6, 1953 in Baldwin, Wisconsin. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Superior on May 20, 1990. He holds a bachelor's in theology and a master's of divinity from St. John Vianney Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. He pursued graduate studies in canon law at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.
continue at USCCB

Powers was the diocesan administrator after Christensen left.

Will update this post as the news breaks.

SupCH has a full story up now:
He said in a statement he greeted the news of his appointment with “mixed feelings” and felt “humbled to be called to the order of bishop.” He said he appreciated “the confidence being placed in me” and looked forward to accepting his new role “with joy and gratitude.”
“The Archdiocese of Milwaukee shares in the joy experienced by the Diocese of Superior in the selection of their native son, Father James Powers, as the 11th bishop of Superior," said Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. "Pope Francis has appointed a man who has proven himself to be a wonderful pastor and a capable administrator. I look forward to collaborating with him for the good of the Catholic Faithful of Wisconsin.”

As of now, I don't yet see a statement from the Superior Diocese on their website.
Update: Superior Diocese statement

Superior Catholic Herald issued statement 

JS: In a statement, Archbishop of Milwaukee Jerome E. Listecki said the Archdiocese of Milwaukee "shares in the joy experienced" by the diocese in the selection of Powers.


  1. I was disappointed to read in the parish bulletin where he is pastor that confessions are ..."offered by appointment or when listed in the bulletin." I hope in this "Year of Mercy" he is committed more to the Sacrament of Penance as a bishop.

  2. @ Anonymous 12:48 Confession times in his present parish(es) are regularly scheduled and generously available.

  3. Heavenly Father, in these trying times when the spirit of the age threatens Catholic values, give our bishop holiness of life and wisdom to direct and guide our diocesan family so that we may grow in your love.
    Shepherd us into Heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  4. Then William, he should change the website to reflect that.....

  5. In looking at the bulletin of the four Parishes he is Pastor at, it looks like he offers confession after all Masses in addition to twice on Saturdays. I went down to page 4 of the bulletin and it lists all the times there. I am encouraged to see that they have Perpetual Adoration at 2 of the 4 churches as well. It looks like he runs a pretty good Parish.

  6. Wishing the Bishop-Elect well, but, the fact that Rome sat on this issue for over a year and then just appointed the administrator, really feels like they had this way way way on the back burner.

  7. I agree! I had been wondering if they had forgotten us up here and now I'm wondering it even more. If they were going to make the interim appointment official, why didn't they do it sooner? Superior has a lot of challenges and I can imagine it being a difficult diocese to lead. While this priest will enter with a year of experience, I really hope they gave the appointment the consideration it deserves.

  8. I'd bet no priest wanted to go to Superior in Wisconsin. Would you like to guess how many men were offered it? Rome, under previous popes would routinely wait much longer than this period. Don't try to get one in on the "Vatican". I wish him well and will pray for him to do God's will and plan in a poverty-stricken area, except for the couple counties near the Twin Cities.

  9. If you do a thorough, objective, and factual study of how long Roman Catholic Dioceses have waited for new bishops to be appointed/named, you will find it varies greatly within any given Pope's time of leadership. Some dioceses receive a co-adjutor bishop (having the automatic rite of succession upon the retirement of the current bishop), before the presiding bishop even retires while other dioceses may wait four or five months, and yet other dioceses may wait ten months and even more than a year. All of these and more variations can be found during the leadership of any given pope. Their is a "Process of Consultation" at various levels from the local church/diocese on up through the church hierarchy, ultimately ending with the presiding pope naming the bishop-elect. This time of "prayer and waiting" varies greatly within each pope's time of leadership, and the selection process is very complex and includes many issues, situations, and needs of a local church/diocese as well as the serious consideration of strengths, gifts, and leadership qualities of any given candidate. It is a "Complex Process" and the time varies greatly from no waiting at all to waiting over a year, and these facts can be readily realized by doing a little study and research of the many dioceses through out the country/world during the leadership time of any given pope. I believe you will find there is little to no set pattern in the amount of time a local church/diocese waits to receive the naming of their successor to the apostles. Blessings in Abundance to Bishop-elect Powers in the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin.


Please contact matt@badgercatholic.com if you have issues commenting.