Pope Francis has chosen a Nebraska priest to become the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota.
Monsignor John Folda, 51, has been serving as the rector of St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward since 1999. He becomes the 8th bishop of the Fargo diocese. It serves 72,000 parishioners in more than 130 parishes in eastern North Dakota.
Folda says he is grateful for the appointment.
“At the same time, while I’m grateful, I’m also very humbled by this appointment,” Folda tells reporters during a news conference. “To say the least, I was surprised. You might even say stunned and a bit speechless.”
Folda says he welcomes the opportunity to go to work in North Dakota.
“North Dakota of course has made national headlines recently because of the strong stand for life that you and your lawmakers have taken in such a public way,” Folda says. “I’m already proud of your commitment to the sanctity of life. It will be an honor to work with you, all of you, to stand up for the defense of life, family and religious liberty.”
Folda succeeds Samuel Aquila, who had served in Fargo for a decade before being appointed as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Folda is a Omaha native. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX