Pope appoints Fargo bishop to lead Denver archdiocese

The following comes from a May 29 Catholic News Agency story.

As Archbishop-designate Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D. assumes his role as Denver’s new shepherd, the former Coloradan brings with him a love for the priesthood, a passion for pro-life advocacy and a heart for the youth.

“I never, ever dreamed that I would ever return here,” he told CNA. “And now in the Father’s providential plan and in his love, I’m now the archbishop.”

Filling a position left vacant for over eight months, Archbishop-designate Aquila was announced on May 29 as the Denver archdiocese’s new leader by apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano in Washington, D.C.

The 61-year-old will succeed Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who led the Denver archdiocese for 14 years and was installed as head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in September 2011.

Denver’s new archbishop said he was outdoors and gardening in Fargo when he received the news of his appointment from the nuncio.

“I heard my cell phone ring, and when I looked at the number I realized that it was from Washington, D.C.,” and he thought, “I’d better step aside for this conversation.”

He recalled Archbishop Vigano on the other line telling him almost immediately that the “Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed you to be Archbishop of Denver.”

“Do you accept?” the nuncio asked.

After pausing briefly, Archbishop-designate Aquila responded, “I very willingly accept.”

Although he said he is “very excited” for the new post, he also reflected on how “it’s one of those moments where it’s bittersweet.”

“I’ve been in Fargo for 11 years, it’s become home and I’ve developed wonderful friendships with the priests and the laity there.”

Far from being a stranger in a new location, however, he will be returning to a placed that he called home for 25 years. Not only did the native Burbank, Californian study to become a priest in Denver, he served as the first rector of the local St. John Vianney Seminary.

He also “vividly” remembers Pope John Paul II’s trip to Denver 1993 for World Youth Day, when he served on the committee that helped to put the visit together and assisted as master of ceremonies.

Since Blessed John Paul II’s historic visit, the Denver archdiocese has been the launch site for numerous ministries under the banner of the New Evangelization – the late Pope’s call for reaching formerly Christian societies with the Gospel….

One area of ministry close to his heart is priestly formation, he said, observing that the Denver archdiocese is “blessed” to have such thriving seminaries.

“I plan on working closely with the priests of the diocese, and with the permanent deacons, and really focusing in on their spiritual life and to continue to build the fraternal relationship among the priests.”

Another mission within the Church that’s deeply important to him is pro-life advocacy – an area he is known for in the Fargo diocese.

For the new archbishop, any questions surrounding the issues of abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide all “get back to the basic dignity of the human person.”

“Every human being, each one of us, began at the moment of conception,” he underscored. “There is no human being that has not begun at the moment of conception.”

With that in mind, he said he’s been unequivocally supportive of efforts such as the international 40 Days for Life campaign, a peaceful protest initiative that seeks to put an end to abortion….

Archbishop-designate Aquila will be installed as head of the archdiocese on July 18 at Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

To read entire story, Click here.

 

READER COMMENTS

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 1:24 AM By Maryanne Leonard
The beautiful mile-high city of Denver is to be blessed yet again!


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:40 AM By Juergensen
Pray that the new Archbishop not only issues orthodox documents but actually enforces Church law and bans all abortionist and homosexualist politicians from receiving the Holy Eucharist (cf. Can. 915).


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 7:43 AM By Dana
Choosing His Grace couldn’t come at a better time. There is a strong base created by Archbishop Chaput, and this strong and loving man is perfect for building an even stronger Church in Colorado.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:02 AM By MacDonald
I wish Bishop Aquila well in his ministry, as bishops nowadays are attacked by every nut case for every possible reason. When Archbishop Quinn of San Francisco defended the Church’s teaching regarding homosexuality, some of the loons on the left immediately nicknamed him “Archbigot Queen” because he refused to go along with their agenda. But of course he also got attacked from the right, the center, the north, the south…


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:58 AM By Bud
Congratulations! May you emanate your predecessor, Chaput.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:00 AM By Dana
I agree, MacDonald. Frankly, I’m appalled and dismayed at the disrespect and sheer unChristian hatred shown in some of these posts. They continually blame the bishops for everything when most of the damage to Church teaching was done 30 or 40 years ago. You simply can’t move forward if you keep looking back. Also, the bishops can only do so much. If they HAD spoken against birth control 40 years ago, do you think people would have listened? It’s unfortunate that the Bishops did not obey the Magisterium and they have had to face the consequences for that, to be sure. Judgment is the Lord’s.Everyone is frustrated with all the corruption. Everyday is another headline about some abuse in the Church…but just remember who is really to blame and pray for his victims rather than judging them. Satan never rests and wants us all in Hell.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:31 AM By Catherine
ALLELUIA…..ALLELUIA…..ALLELUIA!!!!!!!!!


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:21 PM By Dave N.
I thought his name was familiar. Google “Samuel J. Aquila” and “North Dakota House Bill 1242.” A sad day for an Archdiocese that has tried very valiantly to be a bulwark of orthodoxy. Perhaps he has reformed.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:52 PM By Elizabeth
Denver is SO blessed !!! I can only pray that God will have mercy on San Francisco and give us such an orthodox and pro-life shepherd.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:11 PM By Loraine
I have heard nothing but good things about Bishop Aquila. regarding House Bill 1242, here is a quote from Bishop Paul A. Zipfel as to why he and Bishop Aquila opposed the bill. “Although I share with some of the supporters of this bill the desire to end abortion, neither Bishop Aquila nor I can embrace this bill as a means to that end. The central problem with the proposed legislation is the imposition of a criminal punishment on a woman who has an abortion. My fellow bishops, reflecting the guidance of Pope John Paul II, have consistently held that for pastoral, moral, and prudential reasons, the law should not criminalize the woman. In most cases, if not all, she is an abortion’s second victim. Our experience as counselors, spiritual advisors, and caregivers to women who have had abortions tells us that the decision to have an abortion is often the result of intense pressure, coercion by others, and a fear-driven attempt at self-preservation — all in a culture of lies about the choices before her and a society that too often leaves her alone with her “choice.” Criminalizing her only compounds her victimization.”


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:29 PM By JLS
Dana, if the bishops had spoken against birth control 40 years ago, not nearly as many people would have gone down that foolish road. The rationalization from Catholic coeds I knew was that the Church allowed it. False teaching … every one of those bishops should have been thrown to the wolves … and in fact they probably were, because look at them now, and their disciples who vote for abortion and sodomy. “Smaller, holier Church” says the Pope, is coming down the pike. Either turn away from the sin and ride with the wind of God or drown.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:31 PM By JLS
Loraine, criminalizing the woman aborting makes her feel bad …now compare how bad she feels with how bad over one million babies per year feel while they’re being aborted. I say to such bishops, have fun when you reach the Pearly Gates.


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:33 PM By JLS
So, MacDonald, anyone who is not a bootlicker of bishops is insane?


Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 1:15 PM By MacDonald
JLS, you have some big quirks: talking about people getting hogtied, explaining the pope’s “rose” vestments to us all, suggesting that homosexual officers in the military should be shot in the back by heterosexual soldiers, and now licking someone else’s boots. Thank God your faithful dogs can’t understand what you are saying, or they’d be shaking their heads, wondering what in the WORLD got into your food dish.


Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:32 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
If my memory serves me correctly, Bishop Aquila was one of the Bishops who opposed Obama at Nortre Shame, and also one of the Bishops who has stated that he would refuse Communion to pro-abortion public figures, that includes politicians. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher


Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:36 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
JLS, There are good pro-life Bills and there are bad ones. The Bishops had to decide whether or not Bill 1242 was a good one, I may not agree with their decision on this one, but that does not make them bad Bishops. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

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