Denver Newsroom, Apr 30, 2021 / 13:06 pm
Father James Golka is Pope Francis’ choice to become the next bishop of Colorado Springs, and the Nebraska priest used his opening remarks for the diocese to encourage everyone to “become fascinated by the Lord.”
“I’m fascinated by Jesus Christ,” Golka said at a Friday morning press conference in Colorado Springs. “It’s a gift that God gave me as a boy. I remember as a second-grader getting my first Children’s Bible. I loved reading the stories of Jesus.”
“To hear about Jesus and what he did in the Gospels fascinates me. What made him respond to people the way he responded to them? What made him say what he said?” the priest asked. “He knew that in his person was the Reign of God. He knew his identity, and he acted out of it.”
“When you become fascinated by Jesus you cannot help but fall in love with him, and that has changed everything for me,” said Golka. “I invite you to become fascinated by the Lord… I can’t wait to see what he does with us.”
Golka said he was “incredibly humbled and excited” to join the Diocese of Colorado Springs. “I ask for your prayers; please be assured of mine.”
Archbishop Christophe Pierre announced the appointment the morning of April 30, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Friday. Golka currently serves as both rector of Grand Island’s Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin and vicar general for the Diocese of Grand Island, whose territory extends from the western Nebraska panhandle into central Nebraska.
He succeeds Bishop Michael Sheridan, 76, who has headed the diocese since January 2003. Under church law, bishops must submit their resignation to the pope upon turning 75.
Sheridan said he was happy with the appointment.