Transition Of Bishop Raica

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

Bishop Walter A. Hurley

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

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 download below.

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.

Press Release - Apostolic Administrator Announcement 6-23-20

Biography - Bishop Walter A. Hurley

Coat of Arms - Bishop Walter A. Hurley


Letter to the Faithful - Bishop Raica's Transfer to the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama

March 25, 2020

Solemnity of the Annunciation


Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Gaylord:

Today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, we remember Mary’s “Fiat!” or “Let it be done to me as you say!”  to the announcement from the Archangel Gabriel to her that she would conceive and bear a son.  With this in my heart, it is with both gratitude and anticipation that I share that earlier today our Holy Father announced my upcoming transfer to the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama.  There I will be humbled to serve as the fifth Bishop of Birmingham.  Like the witness of our Lady, and with devotion to her, I too say, “Fiat!”  It is my “yes” to the Lord’s call at this moment.

While this announcement comes in these unprecedented times, I know that God has a beautiful plan that continues to unfold for the Diocese of Gaylord.  Be assured, even after my transfer, I will continue to share in your triumphs and challenges from afar, ardently praying for each of you in your journeys of faith. 

I want you to know that I have treasured every moment of ministry with you.  Each bishop who has served here in the Diocese of Gaylord has spoken about the vibrant people of the diocese with admiration and esteem — I too cherish each of you.  The mosaic of your unique gifts and talents, outpouring of charity for one another, and above all, your love for the Lord has made a tremendous impact on me.  I will sincerely miss you, and always remember my service here with thanksgiving and gladness. 

I would also be remiss if I did not say that it has been a joy to serve with my brother priests, sisters, and colleagues in ministry.  Their collaboration and steadfast witness for the mission of Christ and His Church has been an extraordinary gift to me.  Their dedication and zeal to the mission of Christ here in the diocese is unparalleled, and I will miss each of them. 

I appreciate that this announcement of my transition may leave questions for you, such as:  Who will lead our flock here? When will this transfer take place?  To announce that I am being transferred right now might lead one to think there is an abandonment.  While a Bishop normally transitions to a new diocese within two months, I have asked that I will remain here for an additional month.  Therefore, the Mass of installation is currently scheduled in Birmingham at the Cathedral of St. Paul on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. 

Let me close for today by saying that it is most important to seize this moment in prayer, asking that the Lord continue to guide and bless all those in the Diocese of Gaylord and in the Diocese of Birmingham.  Today on this Solemnity of the Annunciation, Pope Francis invites each of us to accompany him and our brothers and sisters around the world in praying an Our Father.  I cannot image a better way to begin this time of transition.  As we entrust our hearts to the Lord together today, know that you are in my prayers. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Most Reverend Steven J Raica

Bishop of Gaylord


Letter to the Faithful - Bishop Raica's Transfer to the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama


March 25, 2020 / 9:00 a.m. (EDT)  

This morning in Rome, an announcement of the transfer of our Bishop, Steven J Raica, to the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama was made public. He will serve as the fifth Bishop of Birmingham. While this is a loss for the Diocese of Gaylord, we rejoice with the people of Birmingham. 

Our prayers accompany Bishop Raica during this time of transition for him as well as for both dioceses. We also want to take this moment to thank Bishop Raica for his dedicated and pastoral care of our Diocese, our Clergy and the lay faithful.

Bishop Raica will be presented via a press conference that will take place at the pastoral center in the Diocese of Birmingham at 11:00 a.m. EDT today. You may follow it live at

Normally the transfer of a Bishop to another diocese takes place within two months. Given the current uncertainties, Bishop Raica urged that the installation be delayed one month, thus it has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, 2020. It will be held at the Cathedral of St Paul in Birmingham, Alabama. In this way, Bishop Raica will remain here to accompany the people of Gaylord through this current health situation.


In servitio Christi,

Deacon Kevin Endres


Special Announcement: Transfer of Bishop Raica

Bishop's Interview regarding his upcoming transfer.

An interview with Bishop Raica regarding his upcoming transfer to the Diocese of Birmingham.