Office of the Bishop
As a successor to the Apostles, the Bishop of a diocese is entrusted with and concerned for the Diocesan Catholic Faithful, all of whom are committed to his care regardess of age, social condition or nationality.
The Bishop provides for the spiritual needs of those who live within the diocesan boundaries as well as those who are in temporary residence.
In addition to being the pastoral leader of the diocese, The Bishop is its administrative head. It is through his leadership, working with the Vicars, Diocesan Councils and Secretariat Directors that programs for parish assistance are developed and implemented based on the needs of the people.
Sede Vacante Status
With the appointment by Pope Francis of the Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda as Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey on September 24, 2013, the Diocese of Gaylord became what is known as a “vacant see” (sede vacante in Latin). This means that there is no diocesan bishop to govern the diocese. The status as “sede vacante” will remain in place until the Holy Father names a new bishop and he takes possession of the diocese. This process is expected to take a number of months.
When a diocesan see is vacant, the College of Consultors is charged with its governance, The Diocese of Gaylord’s College of Consultors is comprised of Msgr. Francis Murphy and Revs. Anthony Citro, Raymond Cotter, Charles Donajkowski, Gregory McCallum, Lawrence Sergott and Dennis Stilwell.
On September 27, 2013, Msgr. Francis Murphy was elected by the College of Consultors to server as the Diocesan Administrator until the Holy Father appoints a new bishop for the diocese. Msgr. Murphy will also continue his duties as Pastor of St. Ann in Cadillac, St. Edward in Harrietta, St. Stephen in Lake City and St. Theresa in Manton.
The Diocesan Administrator’s function is to maintain the status quo until the new bishop takes possession of the diocese. There is an age-old principle that governs the sede vacante. It says: sede vacante nihil innovetur, which means, “when the see is vacant, let no innovations be made." In other words, nothing extraordinary should be done that would prejudice the next incumbent’s freedom.