PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) – Pope Francis on Wednesday named Monsignor Stephen Berg, the administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, as the new bishop of Pueblo.
Berg will succeed bishop Fernando Isern, who retired in June because of poor health.
Berg, a native of Miles City, Mont., will be installed as the diocese’s fifth bishop on Feb. 27 by Denver archbishop Samuel Aquila. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States who announced Berg’s appointment, will attend the ceremony.
Berg took an untraditional path to the priesthood. After earning degrees in music from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M., Berg taught music at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.
He worked as a vice president and a manager for Sunbelt Nursery Inc. in Fort Worth, southern California, Phoenix and Atlanta before entering the seminary in his 40s. He was ordained as a priest in 1999 by his maternal uncle, Joseph L. Charron, the bishop emeritus of Des Moines.
In a statement, Berg said he looked forward to building the church in southern Colorado, home to about 64,000 Catholics.
“I know Colorado to be a beautiful land of beautiful people, and I look forward to serving the faithful of Pueblo as their shepherd in Christ,” Berg said.
He is the second Fort Worth priest in two months to be named a bishop by Pope Francis. In November, the Rev. Msgr. Michael F. Olson, most recently the rector of the Irving, Texas-based Holy Trinity Seminary, was named bishop of Fort Worth. Berg will remain as administrator there until Olson is installed on Jan. 29.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)