DUBUQUE, Iowa --- Only hours after a formal announcement from the Vatican, Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus helped introduce his successor to the public.

The former Bishop of Wichita, Kan., Michael O. Jackels, was appointed by Pope Francis as the 12th head of the Dubuque Catholic Archdiocese, which includes 30 counties in Northeast Iowa. The papal nuncio, or official Vatican representative to the United Sates, announced the changes Monday in Washington, D.C.

Hanus, 72, tendered his resignation last year to former Pope Benedict XVI, citing declining health especially since a serious traffic accident a year ago. Jackels’ appointment is one of the first batch of assignments the new pope made.

Both men and former Archbishop Daniel Kucera, who was in attendance in his wheelchair, were applauded by staff.

“They love you already,” Kucera quipped, as an enthusiastic audience in the archdiocesan pastoral center clapped loudly. Jackels, 58, served as the 10th bishop of Wichita for eight years. Before that, he worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome under then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who became Pope Benedict.

Jackels often cited his episcopal motto during his comments Monday.

“Ecce adsum. Here I am, Michael Jackels, introducing myself to the people God has called me to serve,” he said, arms out as he offered himself in service. “I beg your prayers and patience,” as he learns about the “personality” of the Dubuque Archdiocese and its 200,000 Catholics.

Jackels spoke about a mindset within the Diocese of Wichita, an emphasis on stewardship from all members of the parishes, one result being that students do not pay tuition in diocesan Catholic schools.

“For those families who are active stewards, they can make use of the parish schools and high schools without being charged tuition,” he said. “The whole parish takes on the responsibility of helping parents form their children as disciples of Christ.” Jackels said the concept was “worthy to look at” for the Dubuque Archdiocese, but he could not say if it would translate to this archdiocese.

Jackels called his transfer to Dubuque “bittersweet.”

“It’s bitter because I’m leaving so many good friends I’ve made and worked with, but sweet because I’m coming to such a beautiful place rich in religious tradition.”

After serving as the Dubuque Archbishop for nearly 19 years, Hanus explained the leadership situation in the Dubuque Archdiocese between Monday when Jackels took over as head to Thursday, May 30 when he is officially installed into the position.

“For a few hours, until I am formally appointed as apostolic administrator, there is no one in charge,” he said to general laughter. Hanus agreed to continue overseeing the archdiocese throughout the transition, but all of his own administrative appointments, including the position of vicar general, ended as of Monday.

Hanus praised his successor’s energy, experience and fluency in Spanish, which he said bested his own.

“The papal nuncio called me personally and when I heard who had been selected, I said, ‘I’m thrilled,’” said Hanus, who kept the message on his iPhone. “Both of our diocese are undergoing massive changes in agriculture, population, diversity and economics. Our new archbishop is no stranger to these challenges which characterize the Midwest.”

Earlier: Archbishop Hanus resigning; new archbishop of Dubuque named

6:45 a.m. - DUBUQUE, Iowa --- The Archdiocese of Dubuque, which oversees the Cedar Valley area, was expected to announce today a new archbishop, replacing Jerome Hanus, who is resigning.

A press conference was scheduled for 10 a.m. at which time Hanus, who has been archbishop of the Dubuque Archdiocese since 1995, was to introduce Bishop Michael O. Jackels, bishop of Wichita, Kan., as the new archbishop. Jackels was appointed by new Pope Francis to be the next archbishop.

In a statement released this morning, Hanus, 72, said, "As many of you know, my health has declined in recent years. As a result, some time ago I submitted my resignation as Archbishop to the proper authorities. In a recent telephone conversation, the Pope’s representative in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, informed me that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, had accepted my resignation and appointed as the next Archbishop of Dubuque, the Most Rev. Michael O. Jackels, currently Bishop of Wichita, Kansas. My immediate response to the selection of him as my successor was: 'I am thrilled.'"

Jackels, who turns 59 on April 13, is the current bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wichita, Kan., appointed by Pope John Paul II on Jan. 28, 1995. He is a native of Rapid City, S.D., who moved frequently as a child of a military family from Wyoming to Spain to California before settling in Nebraska.

Prior to joining Kentucky’s St. Pius X Seminary in 1975, Jackels attended the University of Nebraska. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Pius X and a master’s in theology from Mt. Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He earned his doctorate in sacred theology in 1989 from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

He was ordained a priest in 1981.

In 1994, Pope John Paul II honored Jackels by naming him a Prelate of Honor, earning him the title of Monsignor.

Prior to leading the diocese in Wichita beginning in 2005, Jackels worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for eight years under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Hanus is the ninth archbishop of Dubuque. A member of the Order of Saint Benedict, he was abbot of Cenception Abbey from 1977 to 1987, and served as bishop of St. Cloud from 1987 to 1994, and co-adjutor archbishop of Dubuque from 1994-95.

The Archdiocese of Dubuque has 17,403 square miles and includes 30 counties in Iowa. It has a population of 995,367 people, of whom 202,601, or 20 percent, are Catholic, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.



Most Rev. Michael O. Jackels

Born: April 13, 1954 in Rapid City, South Dakota


Elementary School in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Madrid, Spain; Marysville, California

Junior High and High School in Bellevue, Nebraska graduating in 1972

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, from 1972 to 1974

St. Pius X Seminary in Erlanger, Kentucky from 1974 to 1977, graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland from 1977 to 1981, graduating with an M.A. in Theology (Scripture)

Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome from 1985 to 1989, earning a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (spiritual theology)

Ordained to the Diaconate for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska on May 31, 1980

Ordained to the Priesthood for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska on May 30, 1981

Named a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in 1994

Priesthood assignments:

1981-1982 Assistant Pastor, Cathedral of the Risen Christ; religion teacher, Pius X High School

1982-1985 Assistant Pastor, St. Thomas Aquinas Church (University parish); Assistant Vocation Director; Director of Hispanic Ministry; Religion Teacher, Pius X High School

1985-1989 Studies in Rome

1989-1997 Diocesan Director of Religious Education; Diocesan Master of Ceremonies; Co-Vicar for Religious; Chaplain, School Sisters of Christ the King

1997-2005 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Appointed the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, January 28, 2005, by Pope John Paul II

Ordained at the Church of the Magdalen on Monday, April 4, 2005.

Prior to leading the Diocese of Wichita, worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for eight years under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Appointed bishop of Wichita: January 28, 2005

by Pope John Paul II

Appointed as Archbishop of Dubuque:

April 8, 2013


Most Reverend Jerome Hanus, O.S.B.

Born: May 26, 1940, Brainard, Nebraska


Conception Seminary College, Conception, Missouri - B.A.

Benedictine University of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome - S.T.L.

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey - M.A. in Religious Ethics

Ordained Priest: July 30, 1966;

Abbot of Conception Abbey, Missouri: 1977-1987

President, Swiss-American Congregation of Benedictines: 1984-1987

Ordained Bishop of St. Cloud, Minnesota: Aug. 24, 1987

Appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Dubuque: Aug. 23, 1994

Succeeded to the See of Dubuque: Oct. 16, 1995

Served as Chairman, Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy

National Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 1996 - November 1999

Chairman, Committee on Consecrated Life, November 2005 – November 2008

Positions currently held:

Metropolitan of the Province of Dubuque

Chairman of the Iowa Catholic Conference

Chancellor of Loras College, Dubuque

Member of the Loras Board of Regents

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