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Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley Appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord



JUNE 23, 2020


Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley Appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord

GAYLORD, MICHIGAN – His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley, Bishop Emeritus of Grand Rapids, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord, effective immediately. As the newly appointed apostolic administrator, Bishop Hurley will serve as the provisional shepherd by addressing the spiritual needs and governing the diocese during this time of transition until the installation of the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. 

Bishop Hurley was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1965 and was ordained the 22nd auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2003. He continued to serve in the Archdiocese until 2005, when he was installed as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. He served as Bishop of Grand Rapids for nearly eight years, until his retirement in 2013. From his leadership of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Bishop Hurley is well known for his work with Catholic Charities West Michigan, for establishing FAITH Grand Rapids magazine, and orchestrating the development and construction of Cathedral Square in Grand Rapids.

Following his retirement, Bishop Hurley returned to the Archdiocese of Detroit assisting with work in the chancery and at parishes. In October 2018, Bishop Hurley was appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Saginaw following the sudden death of Most Reverend Joseph Cistone, bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw. Bishop Hurley served the Diocese of Saginaw until the installation of Bishop Robert Gruss in July 2019. For Bishop Hurley’s full biography, please visit

Bishop Hurley’s appointment is subsequent to today’s installation of the Most Reverend Steven J Raica, who has served as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord since 2014, as the new bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama.




The Diocese of Gaylord was established by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on July 20, 1971. The territory encompasses 11,171 square miles and includes the 21 most northern counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The region is home to nearly 50,000 Catholics, served by 75 parishes, 17 Catholic schools and many closely-related institutions. For more information, visit

Keywords: Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Gaylord, Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Bishop Steven J. Raica, apostolic administrator.

Media Contact: Ms. Mackenzie Ritchie, Manager of Communications / / 989.732.5147

File: Press Release - Apostolic Administrator Announcement 6-23-20

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