WASHINGTON (September 25, 2001) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph H. Hart of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Bishop David L. Ricken, who was named Coadjutor Bishop of Cheyenne in December, 1999, will now become Ordinary of the diocese.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
David Laurin Ricken was born November 9, 1952, in Dodge City, Kansas. He studied at Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, at Conception Seminary College in Missouri, and at the American College at the University of Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado on September 12, 1980. From 1987 to 1989 he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, earning a Licentiate in Canon Law and a Doctorate in Theology.
Bishop Ricken was vice chancellor of Pueblo from 1985 to 1987, 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.
He was serving as an official of the Congregation for the Clergy when he was named Coadjutor Bishop of Cheyenne, December 14, 1999. He was ordained a Bishop by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica on January 6, 2000.
Joseph Hart was born in Kansas City, Missouri, September 26, 1931. He studied at St. Meinrad's Seminary, Indiana and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, May 1, 1956. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cheyenne, July 1, 1976, and Bishop of Cheyenne, April 25, 1978.
The Diocese of Cheyenne, established in 1887, comprises the State of Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. It has a Catholic population of 49,000 in a total population of 480,000.