The Vatican has nominated a parish priest from northwestern Wisconsin to serve as the next Bishop of the Diocese of Superior. Reverend James Patrick Powers was appointed by Pope Francis and will be the 11th bishop of the diocese. Plans are underway for the ordination and installation on February 18.
Powers had been serving as the diocese administrator throughout 2015 on a transitional basis, as well as serving as pastor for congregations in St. Joseph Parish in Rice Lake and several other area churches. “Because of this leadership role during the last year the transition from Diocesan Administrator to Bishop of the Diocese of Superior will hopefully make for a smooth transition for bishop-elect Powers and everyone involved,” said chancellor Debra Lieberg in a news release from the Superior Diocese.
Powers was ordained in 1990 by Bishop Raphael M. Fliss, the longest-serving bishop of the Superior Diocese. Fliss died September 21 in a Duluth hospital at age 84, after leading the diocese for 28 years. The 62-year-old priest is northwestern Wisconsin native. Powers was born in the St. Croix County Village of Baldwin. He graduated from St. Croix Central High School and Saint Paul Seminary in Minnesota.