WASHINGTON (USCCB) — Pope Francis has named Msgr. Steven J. Raica, 61, chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, as bishop of Gaylord, Michigan.
The appointment was publicized in Washington, June 27, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
He succeeds Archbishop Bernard Hebda, who was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark, last September.
"I was very pleased to learn that Monsignor Steven Raica has been appointed the new Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord," said the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw. "I have come to know Bishop-Elect Raica through his association with and contributions to the Michigan Catholic Conference; and, I have had various opportunities to benefit from his expertise in diocesan matters. He brings a keen mind and pastoral heart to his new ministry. I know that the good people of the Diocese of Gaylord are anxious to welcome their new Bishop. I wish Bishop-Elect Raica joy and blessings as he embraces those entrusted to his care and I look forward to working with him more closely in our State Conference and the United State's Conference of Catholic Bishops."
Steven Raica was born in Munising, Michigan, November 8, 1952. He was ordained a priest for the Landing Diocese in 1978, and named a Prelate of Honor to his Holiness, with the title “Monsignor,” in 1998.
Bishop-elect Raica holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University in East Lansing, a master of divinity from St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan and a master of arts degree in religious studies from the University of Detroit. After ordination to the priesthood he earned a licentiate and doctorate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University, Rome.
Assignments after ordination included parochial vicar in two parishes, Holy Redeemer in Burton, Michigan, and St. Pius X in Flint, Michigan, 1978-1984; pastor of Holy Family Parish in Ovid, Michigan, 1984-85; co-rector of St. Mary Cathedral, 1985-1988. He also served as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Charlotte, Michigan, 1991-1993; and St. Ann Parish Bellevue, Michigan, 1995-1997. He served as chancellor of the diocese 1997-1999, and 2005 to the present. From 1999-2005 he was superior of Casa Santa Maria, the graduate studies house of North American College, Rome.
Bishop-elect Raica has served on the Lansing diocesan tribunal as a pro-synodal judge, the promoter of justice and a tribunal judge. He also has worked in deaf ministry and has conversational ability in English, Italian, Polish and Sign Language.
There are an estimated 508,658 people in the Gaylord diocese with 60,471, or 12 percent, of them Catholic. The diocese includes the 21 most Northern counties in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, which are mostly rural in nature.