Pope Francis on Tuesday chose Father James P. Powers to be the next Bishop of Superior, Wis.
“I am humbled to be called to the order of bishop and sincerely appreciate the confidence being placed in me,” Bishop-designate Powers said Dec. 15. “I have great respect for the office and the responsibilities involved and look forward with joy and gratitude as I accept this new role as your shepherd.”
“I am pleased to place my life in the service of the diocese in a new way. I am grateful to our Lord for the many blessings He has showered upon me over the years,” he added. He asked for prayers “that I will always be a faithful servant leader to the people of God entrusted to my care.”
The Diocese of Superior is in northwestern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.
Bishop-designate Powers, 62, has served as the administrator of the diocese since December 2014. His predecessor, Bishop Peter Christensen, was chosen by the Pope to head the Diocese of Boise City.
He was born Feb. 6, 1953 in Baldwin, 120 miles northwest of La Crosse. Bishop Raphael M. Fliss of Superior ordained him a priest of the Diocese of Superior in May 1990.
After ordination Father Powers served as parish vicar, parish administrator, parish priest and adjunct judicial vicar. He has been a spiritual director for Teens Encounter Christ, a chaplain for the Knights of Columbus, a member of the priest personnel board, and a member of the diocesan insurance committee.
He studied canon law at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.
His most recent pastoral assignment included multiple parishes: St. Joseph’s in Rice Lake, Our Lady of Lourdes in Dobie, St. John the Evangelist in Birchwood, and Holy Trinity in Haugen.
Bishop-designate Powers voiced gratitude to Pope Francis, Bishops Rafael Fliss and Peter Christiansen, and the priests, religious, and laity of the diocese who have supported him in his priestly ministry.
“It is my honor and privilege now to serve you as your bishop and I look forward to the opportunity to fulfill this role to the best of my ability,” he said.
The Superior diocese has about 77,200 Catholics in a population of 464,000. It has 74 priests, 68 permanent deacons, and 81 vowed religious.
Bishop-designate Powers’ episcopal ordination and installation is planned for Feb. 18, the Superior diocese said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously identified Bishop-designate Powers as a monsignor.