Detroit’s Monsignor Jeffrey Monforton Appointed Next Bishop of Steubenville Diocese by Pope Benedict XVI
Archdiocese of Detroit – July 3, 2012
Archdiocese of Detroit priest Monsignor Jeffrey Monforton today was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the next bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. Bishop-designate Monforton recently completed six years as rector-president of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and has been serving as pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Rochester since early May.
“All of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit are deeply honored that Pope Benedict has chosen Monsignor Monforton, a son of this local Church, to be the Bishop of Steubenville,” said Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron. “Monsignor Monforton is an exemplary priest and a zealous pastor—qualities we have come to appreciate during his years in the Detroit presbyterate, especially while he served as rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He will be greatly missed here, but the Lord has called him to greater responsibility for shepherding his flock. Monsignor Monforton goes with our prayers and best wishes; we’re sure he will be a blessing to the pastors and people of the Church in Steubenville.”
Bishop-designate Monforton will succeed Bishop Daniel Conlon as the 5th bishop of the diocese, which was established in 1944. An installation date has not yet been set. Steubenville is on the eastern border of Ohio, situated about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh. The Diocese of Steubenville has 39,000 Catholics, 58 parishes, and 16 schools. It also is home to Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Ordained a priest in 1994, Bishop-designate Monforton, 49, has served as pastor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township, and as an associate/weekend assistant pastor at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak; St. Paul on the Lake Parish, Grosse Pointe Farms; and St. Jane Chantal Parish, Sterling Heights. From 1998 through 2005, he served as priest-secretary to then-archbishop Cardinal Adam Maida.
“I am very grateful and deeply humbled for our Holy Father to entrust me with the faithful of the Steubenville Diocese,” said Bishop-designate Monforton. “The Lord has blessed me on this Christian pilgrimage to shepherd the good people of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Andrew faith communities, as well as to prepare the future priests and ecclesial ministers while rector at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. I’ve been blessed to serve Cardinal Maida as his secretary, and equally thankful for the faith Archbishop Vigneron has had in me these last three years.”
Bishop-designate Monforton began his assignment as rector-president of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2006 and served there until recently being made pastor of the archdiocese’s largest parish this spring. Under Msgr. Monforton’s leadership, the seminarian population at Sacred Heart grew to its largest in 38 years. The institution also began online courses, and established satellite classes at parishes in various regions of the archdiocese.
Bishop-designate Monforton will join seven other current diocesan bishops to have started as a priest in the Detroit Archdiocese. The list includes: Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio; Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing; Bishop Walter Hurley of Grand Rapids; Bishop Dale Melczek of Gary, Ind.; Archbishop John Nienstedt of Minneapolis-St. Paul; Bishop John Quinn of Winona, Minn.; and Archbishop Vigneron.
|The Bishop is the steward of grace of the supreme priesthood, especially in the Eucharist…. The Eucharist is the center of life of the particular Church. The Bishop and priests sanctify the Church by their prayer and work, by their ministry of the word and of the sacraments. They sanctify her by their example, not as domineering over those in their charge but being examples to the flock. Thus, together with the flock entrusted to them, they may attain to eternal life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #893)
O’Meara Ferguson welcomes Bishop-elect Monforton to his new ministry as Bishop of Steubenville. We promise our prayerful support as he assumes his new responsibility as a “steward of grace” for the Church of southeast Ohio.