Updated: April 07, 2021 05:17 PM
Created: April 07, 2021 08:38 AM
The Very Rev. Daniel Felton of the Diocese of Green Bay has been named the next bishop of the Diocese of Duluth. His episcopal ordination and installation as bishop are scheduled for May 20.
Felton, 65, was ordained a priest in 1981 and has worked at parishes in northeastern Wisconsin. He has been vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Green Bay since 2014.
He was introduced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon and said it feels fitting to accept a new role during the Easter season.
"In my own experience of walking that journey through Holy Week and in the Easter season afterwards, there's a part of me that's having to let go," Felton said. He has served in Wisconsin for 40 years. "It really is new life for me and resurrection and hopefully for the people who have waited such a long time to have a bishop in this area, that it will breathe new life and resurrection into them as well."
"We are grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for sending us our next bishop in this joyful Easter season," said the Very Rev. James Bissonette, diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Duluth, in a news release.
Felton succeeds the late Bishop Paul Sirba, who died in 2019.
"Every day since I found out I am coming to this diocese, I've been praying to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to be inspired and assisted by the example of Bishop Sirba," Felton said. "As he was a spiritual father to you in his 10 years here in the diocese, so now I'm counting on him to inspire me to know how best to be your spiritual father."
He said he's looking forward to beginning to build relationships, and he hopes his appointment brings a sense of hope as the nation rises out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We really do believe that a cross of challenge and darkness and despair, by the power of Jesus, does become the cross of new life and resurrection and hope," the bishop-elect said.
Felton is a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and serves as a member of a number of boards and councils. He said he expects his yearly sibling weekend with his four younger sisters will be in Duluth this year.
Michel Mulloy had previously been selected to lead the diocese but resigned in September, weeks ahead of his scheduled installation, after allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor in the early 1980s.
The Diocese of Duluth covers ten counties in northeastern Minnesota, which has 71 parishes serving more than 44,000 Catholics.
Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved