The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Diocese of Colorado Springs have announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Colorado Springs and has appointed Father James R. Golka, a priest of the Diocese of Grand Island as Bishop-elect of Colorado Springs. Bishop-elect Golka currently serves as rector of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grand Island, Nebraska.
In a joint statement, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and Bishop Jorge Rodriguez expressed the following:
“On behalf of the Archdiocese of Denver and the entire Province, welcome to Colorado Bishop-elect Golka! We pray that God will bless you and the Diocese of Colorado Springs with all the graces you need to shepherd God’s people and help them experience the joy of knowing him. We are sure that you will find as we have that the Church in Colorado is filled with good, faithful and generous people. We look forward to working with you in our shared ministry to this great state.
We also wish to extend our prayers and gratitude to Bishop Michael Sheridan for his service to the Church and wish him well in his retirement.”
News release from the Diocese of Colorado Springs:
Father James Golka of the Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska, named Bishop of Colorado Springs
Pope Francis has named Father James Golka, a priest of the Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska, as the third Bishop of Colorado Springs. Bishop-elect Golka will be introduced by Bishop Michael Sheridan during a press conference today (April 30) at 10 a.m. in the Hanifen Room at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 228 N. Cascade Ave. The press conference will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the diocesan Facebook page (@CatholicDioceseCOS).
“I am incredibly humbled and excited for the opportunity to join in the ministry and mission of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Colorado Springs,” said Bishop-elect Golka. “I ask for your prayers; please be assured of mine.”
Bishop-elect Golka, 54, most recently served as Vicar General for the Diocese of Grand Island and as Rector of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fourth of ten children born to Robert and Patricia Golka, he graduated from Creighton University in 1989 with degrees in philosophy and theology. In 1990, he entered St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he earned both a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degree in Sacramental Theology. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Grand Island on June 3, 1994, by Bishop Lawrence McNamara.
Bishop Sheridan, who submitted his resignation to Pope Francis upon turning age 75 on March 4, 2020, said that he was very happy with the appointment.
“Bishop-elect Golka has already shown himself to be not only a skilled administrator, but also a man of prayer,” said Bishop Sheridan. “I believe that he will serve the people of this diocese very well.”
Bishop-elect Golka’s episcopal ordination is scheduled for late June. Details of the event will be announced shortly.