Most Rev. David L. Ricken, J.C.L., S.T.L.
Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay
David Laurin Ricken was born Nov. 9, 1952, to George William “Bill” and Bertha (Davis) Ricken in Dodge City, Kansas, the second of three children, including Mark and Carol. He attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Grade School in Dodge City, and St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, Kansas. He entered college at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, and graduated from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He conducted his theological studies for the Diocese of Pueblo at St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium where he earned his graduate degree in sacred theology and completed his seminary formation.
He was ordained a priest on Sept. 12, 1980, by the Bishop of Pueblo, Arthur Tafoya, at La Junta Catholic Parish in southeast Colorado. His first appointment was as associate pastor to the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo. Five years later, he was named the administrator of Holy Rosary Parish in Pueblo and vice chancellor of the Diocese.
In 1987, then-Father Ricken attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he received his Licentiate degree (J.C.L.) in Canon Law (church law) in 1989. Upon returning to the diocese, he was appointed the vocation director and vicar for ministry formation. Three years later, he added diocesan chancellor to his responsibilities as well as assisting in the Diocesan Tribunal. He served in these positions until Oct. 1, 1996, when he was nominated to be an official of the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican where he served through December 1999.
On Jan. 6, 2000, he was ordained to the episcopacy for the Diocese of Cheyenne at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. The Mass of Welcome to the Diocese of Cheyenne took place on Feb. 11, 2000, in Cheyenne. On Sept. 26, 2001, Bishop Ricken succeeded Bishop Joseph Hart as the seventh leader of the Diocese of Cheyenne.
Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Ricken the twelfth bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay on July 9, 2008. He was installed as bishop on Aug. 28, 2008, at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.
Bishop Ricken is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is presently a member of the Bishops’ Advisory Council for the Institute for Priestly Formation and the Catholic Mutual Relief Society. He is the former chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and previously served on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ editorial oversight board for the National Directory of Catechesis, the Committee for Domestic Justice and Human Development, the Committee on Home Missions, and the Committee for Canonical Affairs. He represented his region as a member of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. He is past-President of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, as well as the former Chairman of the Committee on the American College of Louvain in Belgium.