Walter A. Hurley

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Walter Allison Hurley
Bishop Emeritus of Grand Rapids
DioceseGrand Rapids
AppointedJune 21, 2005
InstalledAugust 4, 2005
Term endedApril 18, 2013
PredecessorKevin Michael Britt
SuccessorDavid John Walkowiak
OrdinationJune 5, 1965
by John Francis Dearden
ConsecrationAugust 12, 2003
by Adam Maida, Edmund Szoka, and Walter Joseph Schoenherr
Personal details
Born (1937-05-30) 30 May 1937 (age 82)
Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post
Alma materCatholic University of America
Motto"Serve With Gladness" (Ps. 100:2)
Styles of
Walter Allison Hurley
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Walter Allison Hurley (born May 30, 1937) is a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who served as the twenty-second auxiliary bishop of Detroit and eleventh bishop ordinary of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. He is currently serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Saginaw.

Early life and education[edit]

Walter Hurley was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, to Charles and Anne (née Ball) Hurley.[1] One of six children, he has four sisters, Elizabeth, Eileen, Charlene, and Annette; and one brother, Gerald. He attended St. Dunstan Grade School in Fredericton, and St. Anne High School in Church Point, Nova Scotia. In 1955, he moved to the United States, settling in Detroit, Michigan.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sacred Heart Seminary in 1961, and a Master's in Divinity from the now-defunct St. John's Provincial Seminary in 1965.[1]


Hurley was ordained to the priesthood of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Detroit by future-cardinal John Dearden on June 5, 1965,[2] serving with the following appointments:

Archbishop Edmund Cardinal Szoka then sent Hurley to further his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from where he obtained a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1984.[1] Upon returning to the archdiocese, he served in three more appointments:

In 1994, Pope John Paul II named him an Honorary Prelate of His Holiness, giving him the title of monsignor. That year, he also became a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.[1]

Hurley served as Adam Cardinal Maida's delegate for Clergy Misconduct from 1988 to 1995 and again from 2002 to 2005, and as the cardinal's delegate and project manager for the construction of what is now the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC from 1995 to 2001.[1]

Episcopal career[edit]

Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit[edit]

On July 7, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Hurley as the 22nd Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Chunavia.[2] Cardinal Maida performed his episcopal consecration on August 12, 2003, with Cardinal Szoka and Bishop Walter Schoenherr serving as co-consecrators.[2] At that time, Hurley selected "Serve With Gladness" (from Psalm 100:2) as his episcopal motto, which he kept for his entire episcopacy.[3] As an auxiliary bishop, he was responsible for the Northwest Region of the Archdiocese, which encompasses Oakland and Lapeer Counties.[1]

Bishop of Grand Rapids[edit]

On June 21, 2005, upon the death of Bishop Kevin Michael Britt, Pope Benedict XVI named Hurley as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, and he was installed on August 4, 2005.[2] As bishop, Hurley was the spiritual leader of the over 175,000 Catholics in West Michigan.[4] As required, Hurley submitted his resignation from the episcopal ordinate on his 75th birthday (May 30, 2012), but it was not accepted until April 18, 2013 when Pope Francis appointed David John Walkowiak as the new Bishop of Grand Rapids. During the period between his resignation and Walkowiak's installation, Hurley served as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese, and was present for his successor's consecration and installation on June 18, 2013 at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, assisting, among 19 other bishops, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron as co-consecrator.

Apostolic Administrator[edit]

On October 17, 2018, following the sudden death of Bishop Joseph Cistone the day before, Pope Francis named Hurley the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Saginaw.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Bishop Walter A. Hurley Biography". Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop Walter Allison Hurley".
  3. ^ "Bishop Walter A. Hurley Coat of Arms". Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.
  4. ^ "Facts". Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Kevin Michael Britt
Bishop of Grand Rapids
Succeeded by
David John Walkowiak
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
Succeeded by