(LANSING)—Michigan Catholic Conference announced today Most Reverend Alex K. Sample, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Marquette, will become a member of the Conference’s board of directors following his Mass of Ordination today at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Marquette. At 45 years of age, Sample will be the youngest bishop in the United States.
Succeeding Bishop James Garland, who announced his retirement due to age, Bishop Sample will become a Michigan Catholic Conference board member as a diocesan bishop of the Province of Detroit, which includes all seven dioceses of the state. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Sample as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Marquette on December 13th, 2005.
“Bishop Sample brings an immense amount of knowledge, leadership and experience to the Conference’s board of directors and we eagerly look forward to his insight and guidance on matters concerning Church and state,” said Michigan Catholic Conference President and Chief Executive Officer Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M.
Bishop Sample attended Michigan Technological University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1982 and a Master of Science Degree in 1984 in the field of Metallurgical Engineering. He completed studies in philosophy at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1986 before entering the Pontifical College Josephinum Seminary in Columbus, Ohio to study for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Mark F. Schmitt on June 1, 1990 at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette.
After his ordination, Bishop Sample served as associate pastor of St. Peter Cathedral and then as pastor of St. George Parish in Bark River, Sacred Heart Parish in Schaffer, and St. Michael Parish in Perronville. In 1994 Bishop Sample was assigned to graduate studies in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. He received his Licentiate in Canon Law in 1996 before returning to the Diocese of Marquette.
At the time of his appointment, then-Father Sample held the following positions in the Diocese of Marquette: Chancellor, Director of Ministry and Priest Personnel, Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests, Defender of the Bond and Promoter of Justice for the Diocesan Tribunal, Vice-Postulator of the Cause for the Beatification of Bishop Frederic Baraga, Executive Director of the Bishop Baraga Association, Member of the College of Consultors, and Diocesan Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus. He has also held the offices of Judge and Adjutant Judicial Vicar on the Diocesan Tribunal. In addition, Bishop Sample has served as canonical pastor and sacramental minister of St. Christopher Parish in Marquette since 1996 and also currently serves as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry.
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.
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