COLORADO SPRINGS — On Friday, Pope Francis appointed Father James R. Golka as Bishop-elect of Colorado Springs. This comes after the Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, 76, from the diocese. Sheridan served as bishop in Colorado Springs since 2003. Bishops are required to resign when they reach age 75.
During a press conference, Golka said he has no current agenda for the diocese of Colorado Springs but will discern to the best of his ability what God's mission is for the diocese.
The bishop-elect became emotional during the press conference when he talked about leaving his current position as the rector of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Grand Island, Nebraska, where he was also born.
"My heart is also torn today," said Golka, "To leave people you love, so the tears are a sense of sadness, they're also a sense of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of what's ahead of me, but they're also tears of great trust in the mercy and presence of Jesus."
He attended Creighton University in Omaha where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Theology. He served as a Jesuit missionary volunteer for the Native American Missions in South Dakota before entering St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota where he received a Master of Divinity. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1994.
Bishop-elect Golka speaks both English and Spanish.
His ordination date is set for June 29, on the feast of St. Peter and Paul.