Archbishop Michael Jackels Retiring


Christ is Risen! Alleluia! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!

On this Easter Sunday, besides the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I have some news to share with you all.

Our Archbishop Michael O. Jackels formally retired from ministry as our Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dubuque on Tues., April 4, 2023. He asked to retire early due to his own personal health issues, and was granted this request by our Holy Father Pope Francis.

As Archbishop told us priests at the Chrism Mass, his health issues are not life threatening, but they have been “ministry debilitating.” In other words, his health issues are hindering his ability to do ministry.

In the meantime, Bishop Emeritus Richard E. Pates, the retired bishop from Des Moines will be filling in as “apostolic administrator” (the interim bishop) until a new Archbishop of Dubuque is named.

Here is the formal introductory letter from Bishop Pates:

I was saddened by the unexpected news of Archbishop’s retirement. He has been Archbishop for the last 10 years and thus was my Archbishop through most of my seminary. He was the one who ordained me a deacon and a priest. Many of you have experienced him as warm, funny, friendly, and personable. And I always knew him to be a humble and genuinely prayerful man, who cares deeply for his priests, and the people whom they served. I have felt very personally cared for by him, and I know many other priests have as well. Archbishop Jackels was always willing to drop everything and go visit with and support a priest who was struggling in some way, and was committed to do everything he could to help them – much of this work was, of course, unseen by the public.

Thus, while he would be the first to tell you that he is not perfect and has made mistake in his ministry, I can genuinely say I have been very humbled and grateful to have had him as my Archbishop and spiritual father, and will certainly miss him.

His final homily for us was given at Chrism Mass this past Tuesday, and can be watched here, about 37 minutes into the video.

At the end of the Chrism Mass, he said he thought much of what his final word with all of us would be and it was this:

“Be kind. Be Joyful. Love the Poor.”

Please pray for Archbishop Jackels in his retirement and please pray for our new Archbishop whoever that may be.

Here is a prayer I encourage you to pray for our new Archbishop:

O God, eternal shepherd,

who govern your flock with unfailing care,

in your mercy grant your Church in Dubuque

a pastor who will please you by his holiness

and will show us your watchful care.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

– Fr. Kevin