Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Steven J Raica, chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, as the Fifth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. The Holy Father’s appointment was announced on Friday, June 27 at 6:00am EDT at the Vatican. The date of Bishop-elect Raica’s consecration and installation will be Thursday, August 28 at St Mary Cathedral, Gaylord.
“As I prepare myself to serve the People of God in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as a new bishop, I offer my praise and gratitude to the Lord Jesus whose presence in my life has enabled me to experience an abundance of life,” said Bishop-elect Raica in a statement. “My gratitude also goes to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this honor and great responsibility. The priests, religious, colleagues in ministry and the faithful with whom I have been privileged to journey in faith here in the Diocese of Lansing have been true companions reminding me of the Lord’s love and mercy. I beg for their prayers that I may serve the Lord totally and faithfully in this new ministerial chapter of my life.” click here for full statement from Bishop-elect Raica
Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing in a statement said “Bishop-elect Raica is a good priest, a good friend, and a man of good counsel. Our loss is Gaylord’s gain! He is gentle, considerate, and solid in his pastoral abilities. He has demonstrated his ability to be a keen collaborator. The office of bishop is not one to be sought, and he did not seek it. Many trials and crosses present themselves to the holder of this office, but his ability to engage others and work with them will stand him in good stead. This new bishop will be an intelligent, cultured, pastoral, gentle, and faith-filled leader of the Church in the northern Lower Peninsula as their chief shepherd, the presence of the apostles and of Jesus Christ the High Priest. The entire Diocese of Lansing offers him our heartiest congratulations and prayers!” click here for full statement from Bishop Earl Boyea
Bishop-elect Raica was born November 8, 1952 in Munising, Michigan to Mary (Tarro) Raica and Steve J Raica (deceased). He received a B.A in Mathematics / Secondary Education, from Michigan State University, and completed his priesthood studies at St John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan, earning a Master of Divinity degree. Bishop-elect Raica is an alumnus of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, having earned his doctorate in Canon Law, with a specialization in jurisprudence.
He was ordained a priest in 1978 by Bishop Kenneth Povish, third Bishop of Lansing. In 1998 he was named a Prelate of Honor with the title “monsignor” by Pope John Paul II. His priestly assignments included serving as: associate pastor of St Pius X Parish, Flint; pastor of Holy Family Parish, Ovid; and, pastor of St Mary Parish, Charlotte. From 1999-2005 he served as the Superior of the Casa Santa Maria, the post-graduate residence for priests at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. Since 2005 he has served as the Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Lansing.
During his priesthood he has been involved with the Church’s ministry to the hearing impaired, serving first as director of that effort in the Diocese of Lansing, and in recent years as the chaplain to the diocesan Deaf Ministry. Since 2005 he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of FAITH Catholic, the publishing and communications arm of the Diocese of Lansing.