Getting to know Bishop-elect Steven Raica of the Diocese of Gaylord

Now that we have an official announcement and a Bishop-elect here are a few links I have found to help us learn more about Bishop-elect Steven Raica, who will be the 5th Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord.

One of the best blogs out there is Whispers in the Loggia and that is the first spot online I saw any news about the announcement of our new bishop-elect. The blogs author Rocco Palmo always has great information and the latest news about the Catholic Church, especially related to the Bishops, and he just posted a new article In Michigan, A Spartan Shift – Lansing Chancellor Raica to Gaylord.

Here is part of the article talking about Bishop-elect Raica and how he is following Archbishop Hebda...

A product of Michigan State, where he earned a bachelor's in mathematics before a JCD from the Gregorian, the "gentle and industrious" bishop-elect is believed to be the first US prelate who's fluent in sign language; for the first decade of his priesthood, Raica served as Lansing's diocesan director for deaf ministry alongside parish work.

As for what lies ahead, meanwhile, what Hebda referred to as "the needs of the church in Gaylord" would seem to mesh well with the profile of the pick: on his transfer to Newark after four years, Bishop Bernie just beginning to focus the diocese on planning its mid-range future, a challenge that's been particularly acute across Michigan given demographic shifts as harsh as the state's infamous winters. Alongside the structural realities, priestly vocations have proven another hurdle upstate, while Lansing has long bucked the trend, ordaining five in this year's batch, including identical twins who were profiled in The New York Times. (Gaylord will ordain one tomorrow, with the now-archbishop returning to perform the rite.)

Next is a short interview in Legatus Magazine from last year called Building ambassadors in Michigan's capital where Bishop-elect Raica talks about his call to the priesthood...

Tell us about your call to the priesthood.
I guess my first inkling was probably around fifth grade when I served Mass. In high school I got more involved in church, including joining the choir, playing the organ and going to daily Mass.

My calling matured at Michigan State University, where I got involved with the campus parish and the diocesan pre-seminary program. There were a number of confirmations of my calling. Once I remember opening my pocket Bible at random to Hebrews 11 about faith being the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen. That was revelatory. Perhaps the Lord was calling me not to be afraid of faith but to follow him and doors would open. So I went to the seminary after graduation and have not had one regret for having accepted the Lord’s invitation to follow him.

And finally I found an old homily from a confirmation Mass from May 20, 2008 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

May 20, 2008 Confirmation Mass homily: Msgr. Steven Raica

So on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, please keep Bishop-elect Raica in your prayers as he begins his journey as shepherd of the Diocese of Gaylord.

Msgr. Steven Raica named next bishop of Diocese of Gaylord

And our new bishop is...

and our Diocese has put out this article about Bishop-elect Steven Raica, here's the beginning of the article...

Bishop-elect RaicaHis Holiness Pope Francis, has named the Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Raica (RAY-cuh), Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Lansing, as the new Bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. Bishop-elect Raica, 61, is the fifth Bishop of Gaylord, succeeding the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda who was named to the lead the diocese in October of 2009 and served until September, 2013, when he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark. The announcement was made today by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (Vig-uh-NO), Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in Washington, D.C.

“As I prepare myself to serve the People of God in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as a new bishop, I offer my praise and gratitude to the Lord Jesus whose presence in my life has enabled me to experience an abundance of life,” said Bishop-elect Raica in a statement. “My gratitude also goes to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this honor and great responsibility.”

Upon learning of the appointment of his successor, Archbishop Hebda wrote, “The news that Pope Francis has named Msgr. Steven Raica to be the fifth Bishop of Gaylord on this Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is truly a cause for rejoicing. Having known Bishop-Elect Raica for more than a quarter of a century and having had first-hand experience of his pastoral zeal, collaborative spirit, and intellectual gifts, I believe that he will be an excellent shepherd--after the Heart of Jesus--for a flock that I will always remembers as being incredibly loving.

“Knowing Bishop-elect Raica to be a man of prayer, an engaging preacher, an excellent administrator, and a fine friend to many, I am confident that he will be an exceptionally fine bishop,” Archbishop Hebda said. “It will be a pleasure to pray for him and for the wonderful Church of Gaylord as they together prepare to shine the light of Christ throughout the twenty-one counties of the Diocese.”

Read the entire article Pope Francis Names New Bishop for the Diocese of Gaylord at the Diocese of Gaylord.

Also see: What Others are Saying About Our New Bishop and Statement of Bishop-elect Steven J. Raica

Announcement for new bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord coming tomorrow?

Just heard about this...

Rocco is usually right on when it comes to bishop news and hopefully he's right again! So Noon in Rome is 6:00 AM here in the Diocese of Gaylord, which means I'll be up early tomorrow morning to share the great news.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!