Introducing our next auxiliary bishop

Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg, bishop-designate for the Archdiocese of Seattle, puts on his first zuchetto before the archdiocese's Chrism Mass on April 6 at St. James Cathedral. He will become Seattle's second auxiliary bishop after his May 31 ordination. Photo: Stephen Brashear Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg, bishop-designate for the Archdiocese of Seattle, puts on his first zuchetto before the archdiocese's Chrism Mass on April 6 at St. James Cathedral. He will become Seattle's second auxiliary bishop after his May 31 ordination. Photo: Stephen Brashear

After celebrating Mass on March 26 at his parish in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg saw he’d missed a call from an unknown number. He almost didn’t check the message, figuring it was a telemarketer. In fact, it was the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United States, who told him to sit down: Pope Francis had appointed him an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Seattle.

“I was very surprised,” Msgr. Mueggenborg said April 6, the day the Vatican announced the appointment, but also “filled with a sense of … enthusiasm and excitement.”

Msgr. Mueggenborg, a priest of the Diocese of Tulsa, will be ordained a bishop at St. James Cathedral during a 2 p.m. Mass on May 31.

“It is with deep joy that I share this good news,” Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said in a press release. “[Msgr. Mueggenborg’s] warmth and affability, coupled with his pastoral experience and competence, will be great gifts to the Archdiocese of Seattle.” Archbishop Sartain has known Msgr. Mueggenborg since his time as bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, next door to Tulsa.

“I am humbled by Pope Francis’ appointment to serve as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Seattle,” Bishop-designate Mueggenborg said in the press release. “These recent days have been filled with prayer both in gratitude for the Holy Father’s decision and in petition for the strength and grace to fulfill the duties of this ministry.”

Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg
Msgr. Daniel Mueggenborg talks with Archdiocese of Seattle staff at an April 6 luncheon welcoming him as the archdiocese's bishop-designate. Photo: Janis Olson

Bishop-designate Mueggenborg, 55, grew up in Okarche and Stillwater, Oklahoma. After earning a bachelor’s degree in geology from Oklahoma State University, he studied pre-theology at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and earned degrees in theology and biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1989.

He has served as pastor of three parishes including Christ the King in Tulsa, where he has been since 2011. He has held several diocesan leadership positions and was on the faculty of the Pontifical North American College in Rome from 2005–11.

An Eagle Scout and active outdoorsman — he summited Mount Kilimanjaro as a seminarian and goes mountain biking almost daily — Bishop-designate Mueggenborg said in an April 6 interview that he’s drawn to the “natural beauty” of the Northwest.

“I’ve already been online looking up some different trail locations,” he said.

 

Kevin Birnbaum

Kevin Birnbaum is the assistant editor of Northwest Catholic and a member of Seattle’s Blessed Sacrament Parish. Contact him at Kevin.Birnbaum@seattlearch.org.

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