Detroit Auxiliary Is Named Bishop of Grand Rapids

Reno Prelate Steps Down; Auxiliary Chosen for Miami

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, JUNE 21, 2005 ( Benedict XVI named Auxiliary Bishop Walter Hurley of Detroit to be bishop of Grand Rapids.

The 68-year-old auxiliary succeeds Bishop Kevin Britt, who died May 15, 2004.

The Pope also accepted the resignation of Bishop Phillip Straling, 72, of Reno, Nevada, according to an announcement by Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The Holy Father also appointed Irish-born Monsignor John Noonan, 54, the president-rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary, Archdiocese of Miami, as auxiliary bishop of Miami.


Walter Hurley was born May 30, 1937, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He obtained a master of divinity degree from St. John’s Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan, and a canon law degree from the Catholic University of America in 1984.

He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in June 1965. He was named auxiliary bishop of Detroit in July 2003.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids, in western Michigan, has about 162,000 Catholics in a total population of 1.28 million.

Phillip Straling was appointed first bishop of San Bernardino, California, in July 1978. He was appointed bishop of Reno in March 1995.


John Noonan was born on Feb. 26, 1951, in Limerick, Ireland, where he attended primary and secondary schools.

After his basic education, Msgr. Noonan migrated to the United States where he lived first in New York, then in Florida. He studied at St. John Vianney College Seminary and later at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary.

Bishop-designate Noonan was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami in September 1983. Following ordination, he earned a master’s degree in education at Boston College.

Named president-rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary in 1996, he is a member of the archdiocesan priest personnel board, the Presbyteral Council, and the College of Consultors.

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