Congratulations to Bishop Michael Jackels on being named the new archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa. But he will be missed.
Jackels was a steady and capable leader of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, which has 114,000 Catholics among 90 parishes spanning 20,021 square miles. During his eight-year tenure, Jackels oversaw the diocese’s many outreach ministries and building programs, including the renovation of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
Even more significantly, Jackels fostered an increase in the number of seminarians. He also fostered a sense of community and common bonds of faith, even as the diocese became more diverse.
Jackels also provided a moral compass on social issues such as abortion and the treatment of immigrants and the poor. And he spoke out against the sexual-abuse scandals of the Catholic Church.
“There can be no tolerance of it or attempt to protect the perpetrator,” he wrote. “It is a cause for shame and sorrow.”
During his Easter vigil homily this year, Jackels acknowledged that Christians don’t always live the lives they should. But when they do, he said, “it makes the world different, better.”
Jackels helped make Wichita better.