Pope names Rockford priest to be bishop

Msgr. David Kagan

Pope Benedict XVI has named Msgr. David Kagan, P.A., Vicar General of the Diocese of Rockford and pastor of Holy Family Parish in Rockford, to be the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck, N.D. The appointment was announced in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19 by the apostolic nunciature’s office, and a press conference was held in Bismarck the same day.

Bishop-elect Kagan, 61, succeeds Bishop Paul A. Zipfel, 76, who has served as the Bishop of Bismarck since 1997. In naming a successor, Pope Benedict also accepted Bishop Zipfel’s resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese, which he submitted at the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In a statement to The Observer, the official Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Rockford, Bishop-elect Kagan said: “It is with profound gratitude to Almighty God and to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that I have been named to be the next Bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota. I am humbled by our Holy Father’s appointment, and I need and ask for prayers that I may fulfill this new ministry after the Heart of Christ Jesus, the Eternal High Priest.”

After receiving word of the announcement, Bishop Thomas G. Doran said: “It is a great joy and great compliment to the priests of the Diocese of Rockford that twice, in barely over a year and a half, our priests have been chosen to be shepherds of other dioceses. Msgr. David Kagan has served this diocese faithfully and fruitfully for all the years of his priesthood and, in my judgment, deserves the honor and responsibility of being the seventh bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota.

Msgr. Kagan’s departure will be a loss to the Diocese of Rockford because he has been, for the last 17 years, in administrative work for the diocese as Officials of the Tribunal, Chancellor, vicar general, moderator of the curia and associate publisher of The Observer,” Bishop Doran said. “To lose a person that knowledgeable is, of course, a sacrifice. But as it was with Bishop Timothy Doherty, we are happy. And the good people of Lafayette in Indiana and the people of the Diocese of Bismarck have received from our priests, the best we have to offer. I wish Msgr. Kagan and the people he will serve every blessing and happiness.”

From the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2011, issue

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