The Diocese of Grand Rapids is ready to welcome their 12th bishop.

Pope Francis has appointed David John Walkowiak, a priest in the Diocese of Cleveland, to lead the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Current bishop Walter Hurley will retire June 18.  Bishop-elect Walkowiak will take over as bishop on the same day.  Bishop Hurley is 75, which is the age of mandatory retirement.

Bishop-elect Walkowiak is from Westlake, Ohio.  He became a priest in the Diocese of Cleveland in 1979 and has served the Catholic Church in a number of roles in Ohio.  He will turn 60 on June 18, the same day he becomes bishop.

“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 Hurley plans to remain in Grand Rapids and will assist the new bishop as needed.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids has 82 parishes and serves 182,000 Catholics.

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