Cleveland diocesan priest among first bishops appointed by Pope Francis

Beacon Journal staff report

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Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. David J. Walkowiak, a priest in the Catholic Dio­cese of Cleveland, as bishop of a diocese in Michigan.

“This is happy news as one of our Cleveland priests is chosen by our Holy Father to shepherd the faithful of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. While we will miss Father Walkowiak here in our diocese, and especially at St. Joan of Arc parish in Chagrin Falls, we are confidant of his ability to be a holy and pastoral bishop,” Cleveland Bishop Richard G. Lennon said in a written statement released Thursday.

Walkowiak, 59, has served as pastor at St. Joan of Arc parish since 2006. He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1979 and has served as an assistant pastor (parochial vicar) at St. Mary parish in Lorain, as vice chancellor in the diocese, as a faculty member at St. Mary Seminary and as an associate judge of the Appellate Tribunal for the Province of Cincinnati.

A native of Westlake, Walkowiak graduated from Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame and his master’s in divinity at St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland. He also did advanced studies at Catholic University of America.

Walkowiak will become the 12th bishop of the Grand Rapids diocese.


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