Roman Catholic Church appoints 10th Bishop of Duluth

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The Right Reverend Daniel Felton, a longtime pastor in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the 10th Bishop in the 122-year history of the Diocese of Northeast Minnesota.

“I can’t wait to get out into parishes and schools,” Felton said at an introductory press conference Wednesday. “I’m a pastor at heart. This is what I live to do; this is what I love to do. Plus I can be off the field with our pastors and lay leaders and all the people who do. part of this diocese – this is where I want to be, this is where I want to lead and this is where I want to be the Shepherd. “

Felton, 66, has been Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of Green Bay since 2014. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Green Bay in 1981 by Bishop Aloysius Wycislo.

Felton’s assignments have come throughout Northwestern Wisconsin, including Holy Innocents in Manitowoc, St. Raphael the Archange in Oshkosh, and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manitowoc. He was also director of affiliate affairs for the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America.

Bishop-elect Daniel Felton listens to his presentation at a press conference at the Diocese of Duluth on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Felton, of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been announced as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Bishop-elect Daniel Felton listens to his presentation at a press conference at the Diocese of Duluth on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Felton, of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been announced as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth. (Jed Carlson / [email protected])

The episcopal ordination and installation of Felton as Bishop of Duluth has been set for May 20.

“I just met Bishop-elect Felton, but I already know that he is a man of faith who has many gifts that he brings to us, and I think I can speak for everyone in the world. Diocese of Duluth when I say we look forward to getting to know him and him, said the Right Reverend James Bissonette, who has led the Diocese ad interim for the past 16 months.

Felton succeeds the late Bishop Paul Sirba, who died suddenly in December 2019.

Reverend Michel J. Mulloy was due to be ordained and installed as 10th bishop in Duluth in October, but resigned following a charge of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota.

Felton, whose parents Carol and Ken owned a retail glass store, grew up as the oldest of five children in the Green Bay area. He attended St. Edward School in Mackville and Appleton West High School.

He holds a BA in Religious Studies and Psychology from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin; a master’s degree in divinity from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota; and a BA in Sacred Theology and an MA in Social Communication from the Gregorian University of Rome.

Felton is a member of the Diocesan College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, the Bishop’s Advisory Council, the Staff Council, the Diocesan Financial Council, the St. Norbert Board of Trustees, and the Silver Lake Board of Trustees. Middle School. He is also a member of the National Advisory Council of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Felton thanked his family, Wisconsin parishioners, fellow church leaders, and most importantly, God, for the opportunity to lead the 10-county diocese which includes more than 44,000 Catholics and 71 parishes.

Rev. Daniel Felton speaks about new opportunities at a news conference at the Diocese of Duluth on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Felton, of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been announced to become the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Rev. Daniel Felton speaks about new opportunities at a news conference at the Diocese of Duluth on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Felton, of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been announced to become the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth. (Jed Carlson / [email protected])

“Today I give glory and praise to God for my new family,” he said. “To all of you here in the Diocese of Duluth, you are my family. We are already a family in the sense that we are all beloved sons and daughters of the Father. We are all brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. are all bound by the divine love of the Holy Spirit. “

Felton’s appointment comes as Catholics celebrate the holy season of Easter. He said he actually learned of his selection from the Vatican over the Palm Sunday weekend, so a decision was made not to announce his nomination until many of the festivities were over.

The new bishop also acknowledged the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. When her father passed away last May, the family had to hold a funeral with just 10 people, and her mother had to move to an assisted living facility that remained fully closed for many months.

As the pandemic has forced many people out of church pews every Sunday, Felton said there was now optimism that more parishioners may return. He said churches have also had to be creative in reaching people in their communities and beyond, offering services such as live streaming, which may continue into the future.

“I think this is a time of great opportunity,” he said. “Every challenge has its blessing to go with it.”

This story was updated at 5:14 p.m. on April 7 with additional quotes and information from a press conference. It was originally posted at 1:03 p.m. on April 7.


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