WASHINGTON (December 14, 1999) -- Pope John Paul II has named Father David L. Ricken, a priest of the Diocese of Pueblo currently serving as an official of the Congregation for the Clergy, to be Coadjutor Bishop to Bishop Joseph H. Hart of Cheyenne.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced the appointment.
A Coadjutor Bishop enjoys the right of succession which means that he becomes head of a diocese immediately upon the retirement or death of the incumbent diocesan bishop.
David L. Ricken was born on November 9, 1952, in Dodge City, Kansas. He studied at Conception Seminary College in Missouri from 1972 to 1974 and at the American College at the University of Louvain in Belgium. From 1987 to 1989 he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, earning a Licentiate in Canon Law and a Doctorate in Theology.
Bishop-designate Ricken was ordained to the priesthood on September 12, 1980.
Following ordination, he held pastoral and administrative posts in the Diocese of Pueblo.
He was vice chancellor from 1985 to 1987, diocesan Director of Vocations from 1989 to 1996, Episcopal Vicar for Ministry Formation, 1989 to 1992, Director of Deacons, 1990-1995, and Chancellor from 1992 to 1996, when he was assigned to the Holy See's Congregation for the Clergy.
The Diocese of Cheyenne comprises the State of Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. It has a Catholic population of 49,800 in a total population of 484,000.