The faithful of Grand Rapids, who have been without a bishop since May 2004, are pleased to learn that they will receive a new shepherd in Bishop Walter Hurley, auxiliary of Detroit.
The 68-year-old bishop will be installed in his new diocese Aug. 4 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids. Bishop Hurley succeeds Bishop Kevin Britt, who died last year.
“From the day of my arrival in Detroit 15 years ago, Bishop Hurley has been one of my closest collaborators and advisers, indeed a trusted friend,” said Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit in an interview with WZZM-13.
“His pastoral wisdom, training in canon law, considerable skills at organization and administration, along with his deep love for the Church, have been great blessings for all of us in Detroit,” said the cardinal, who has been serving as apostolic administrator of nearby Grand Rapids since Bishop Britt's death.
Bishop Hurley was born in New Brunswick, Canada, and was ordained a priest for Detroit in 1965. He was pastor of three parishes and had served the archdiocese as metropolitan judicial vicar, moderator of the curia and auxiliary bishop.
He was ordained a bishop in July 2003 and has assisted Cardinal Maida in resolving the sexual abuse crisis in Detroit.
“Attentive to justice for all parties, he has handled the delicate pastoral and juridical concerns related to cases of clergy sexual abuse,” Cardinal Maida testified.
Bishop Hurley also supervised the construction of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington.
The Diocese of Grand Rapids includes 162,670 Catholics, 122 priests and 90 parishes in west-central Lower Michigan.
In related episcopal news, Bishop Phillip Francis Straling resigned from the Diocese of Reno in accordance with canon law, and Msgr. John Gerard Noonan was named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami.