New bishop for Marquette

New bishop for Marquette

The Vatican announced this morning that Bishop James Henry Garland of Marquette, Michigan, had resigned and that Msgr. Alexander King Sample, chancellor of the diocese (and only 45 years old) be appointed in his place.

This wasn’t the usual changing of the guard. Today happens to be Garland’s birthday, but only his 74th birthday. He wasn’t required to submit his resignation, under canon law, until next year. In fact, the Vatican announcement listed the reason for his resignation as “in conformity with Can. 401 para. 2,” which is the catch-all for “ill health or any grave reason.”

Garland said at a news conference that he asked to be able to resign early.

I asked the Holy Father to permit me to retire before 75, the normal retirement age for bishops, because I have become convinced in recent months that the priests and people of the diocese deserve a bishop who is younger and has more energy.”

Sample becomes the youngest bishop in the US.

Sample was born in Montana in 1960, and has received a Master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He attended St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul (very interesting) and the Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, and was ordained in 1990. That’s quite the meteoric rise.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • I’ve heard a report that Bishop Garland is going deaf.

    Marquette is a hardscrabble Diocese, with most of the Catholics having settled in the region to work in the now-very-shrunken mining and lumber industries.  I’ve liked the parishes I have visited, and I’m glad to see they found someone with local ties.  He’s an MTU grad, and Tech is in Houghton, Michigan, on the Keewenaw Peninsula.  A very good school—a lot of people from Metro Detroit attend there, despite the fact Cincinnati is closer than Houghton.

    Marquette Fun Fact:  Every single church in the Diocese has kneelers.

  • Father Sample was one of three apostolic visitators at my seminary in October.  It was to him I gave my interview and with him I enjoyed a lengthy conversation as we waited out Hurricane Wilma.

    He is an awesome, rock-solid priest.  He’s very dynamic and gave every indication of desiring better-caliber priestly candidates.  He also expressed deep faithfulness to and love for the Church.

    Because he was one of our visitators, our rector announced his appointment this morning at Morning Prayer.  There was an uproar of gratitude!!!

    This could only bode well for Michigan!  Now, with Sample in Marquette and Carlson in Saginaw—we can only hope for great things in the Catholic world comming from Michigan!

  • You mentioned that it was “very interesting” that Father Sample attended the St. John Vianney seminary in St. Paul.

    I’m not sure what you meant by that.

    But, for a point of information, Bishop Carlson in Saginaw, MI, was an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis for ten years before he was appointed to his Sioux Falls, SD, post.  After Sioux Falls, he was appointed Bishop of Saginaw.

    Bishop Campbell of Columbus, OH, also was an Auxiliary in St. Paul.  He was installed last January.

    If Massachusetts needs any good bishops, maybe they should look more at Minnesota.

  • I meant very interesting in a good way. The rector Fr. Baer (I believe) popped in here a few weeks ago and left some nice comments. And my friend Fr. John Klockeman is the spiritual director there.

  • Bishop-elect Sample is also the executive director of the Bishop Baraga Association.

    http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/bbaraga.php

    A possible miracle for Bishop Baraga is being investigated.

    http://www.catholicherald.org/archives/articles/baragamiracle04.html (with pic of the new Bishop-elect)

    http://www.catholicherald.org/archives/articles/potentialsaints05.html (an update from earlier this year of the previous link, scroll past the section on Father Solanus Casey).

  • I apologize, Dom, for having jumped to the wrong conclusion.

    Things weren’t always going so well here, but in the past few years, it’s going much better, and I wanted to make that clear to people.

    My Mom’s parents were born in Negaunee, in Marquette County and I pay attention to news about them.  Bishop Baraga covered pretty much all of Lake Superior country (MN, WI and MI) in his travels, once having paddled in a canoe across it in a storm.

    Ray

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