New US Bishop: Pueblo, Colorado

This morning the Holy See announced the decision of Pope Francis to name Bishop-elect Stephen Jay Berg as the new Bishop of Pueblo, Colorado, USA.

The diocese had been vacant since the resignation of Bishop Fernando Isern in June 2013.

Bishop-elect Berg had been serving as the diocesan administrator of Fort Worth. He assumed that position about a year ago when Bishop Vann was moved to the Diocese of Orange. About two months ago, Fort Worth had a new bishop appointed (Michael Fors Olson.) This freed up the very able Berg to undertake new leadership responsibilities in Pueblo.

Here is some background on Stephen Jay Berg, when he was named diocesan administrator of Fort Worth, back in 2012…

*Msgr. Berg was born March 3, 1951 in Miles City, Montana. After a successful career in retail, he entered San Antonio Assumption Seminary in 1993 and was ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth on May 15, 1999 by his uncle, Bishop Joseph Charron.

He served as parochial vicar of St. Michael Parish in Bedford from 1999 to 2001 and St. John the Apostle Parish in North Richland Hills from 2001to 2002. In 2002, he was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in Henrietta, St. Jerome Parish in Bowie, St. William Parish in Montague, and St. Joseph Parish in Nocona and served the four parishes until 2008 when he was appointed diocesan vicar general and pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in White Settlement.

In 2010, Bishop Vann expanded Msgr. Berg’s duties to include both the positions of diocesan vicar general and diocesan moderator of the curia.

At the recommendation of Bishop Vann, Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 named Msgr. Berg a Prelate of Honor, granting him the title “monsignor.”*

He didn’t enter seminary until he was 42 years old. Does that count as a late vocation? :slight_smile:

Great news!

I know people in Vermont haven’t been waiting nearly as long, but they lost their bishop (wahh) to Rochester NY (lucky Rochester!) at the beginning of this month, so I hope they’ll have a new bishop soon!!


Good observation. Yes, Bishop-Elect Stephen Berg was a “late vocation”. I remember him a little bit when he was at St. Michael’s in Bedford (I was a parishioner at the time). Bishop-Elect Berg was ordained at the age of 48.

I only know of about five current bishops who were “late vocations”. One is Bishop Swain, who is a bishop in South Dakota or Iowa. Swain was ordained at the age of 44, and had been an intelligence officer in the Air Force during the Vietnam era and later became an attorney. Bishop Swain is a Catholic convert who didn’t enter seminary until he was close to 40 years of age. I’ve heard he is a very good priest and a good bishop.

Another later vocation bishop is Bishop Gruss (I can’t remember his diocese, but his home diocese is somewhere in Iowa), who after a career as a pilot was ordained at the age of 39. I believe Bishop Campbell of Columbus (Ohio) was a later vocation, being ordained at the age of 37 (I recall Campbell was a college professor), and auxiliary bishop Walterschied of Pittsburgh had a career in one of the health professions prior to entering seminary.

Tantum ergo:

Yes, IMHO Rochester is lucky. Bishop Matano was installed early in January 2014.

I’m praying for a new bishop for Albany (NY). I’ve read that Bishop Hubbard sent his retirement papers to Rome in early November 2013. It’s up to Pope Francis I on whether or not to accept Hubbard’s resignation.

From an outsider’s point of view, it looks like Hubbard will stay put until the Vatican appoints a new bishop for the Diocese of Albany (NY). That could take several more months, but it also could mean that the Vatican is searching for the right “fit”, which takes time.

Tantum ego, I also know that Wichita (Kansas), Toledo (Ohio), and Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) have been vacant longer than Burlington (Vermont).

Harrisburg is vacant due to the untimely death of Bishop McFadden, who fell ill one morning in July 2013 and died the same afternoon. I’m praying that either Fr. John Trigilio or Auxiliary Bishop Walterschied will be selected for either the Diocese of Harrisburg (which is their home diocese) or that one of them will become the new bishop for Albany.

I’m also wondering if Fr. Ken Brighenti is being considered for a See on the east coast. Fr. Ken Brighenti is from the Diocese of Metuchen (NJ), and he has held positions as a vice-rector of a seminary plus he has served as a Navy Reserve Chaplain, in addition to his collaborations with Fr. John Trigilio. Fr. Ken Brighenti sounds to me like a good choice for the Diocese of Albany (NY).

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