“Pope Francis has appointed a man who has proven himself to be a wonderful pastor and a capable administrator. I look forward to collaborating with him for the good of the Catholic faithful of Wisconsin,” said Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki.
Bishop Powers was born February 6, 1953, in Baldwin, Wisconsin. He is one of seven children born to Thomas and Frances Roberta (Bobbie) Powers, and was raised on a farm in rural Hammond, Wisconsin. He attended Hammond Grade School and St. Croix Central High School. During his college years, he attended Holy Redeemer College, the College of St. Thomas and St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning his B.A. in Theology. He also earned a Master of Divinity from St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul. He later attended St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, from 1996-98 where he completed his canon law degree (J.C.L.).
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 20, 1990, at Immaculate Conception Church, Hammond, Wisconsin, by Bishop Raphael M. Fliss. He was appointed Associate Pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Rice Lake, and then Temporary Parochial Administrator of St. Bridget, River Falls. Later he served as Parochial Administrator of St. John the Baptist, Webster; Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Crescent Lake; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Danbury, before returning to St. Bridget, River Falls, where he served for two years as Pastor. After spending the following two years at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, and having received his JCL Degree, he returned to the Diocese of Superior and was appointed Pastor of St. Pius X, Solon Springs; St. Mary, Minong; and St. Anthony of Padua, Gordon, as well as Adjutant Judicial Vicar. Five years later he returned to St. Joseph, Rice Lake. After serving St. Joseph as Pastor for 11 years, the parish was clustered with Our Lady of Lourdes, Dobie; St. John the Evangelist, Birchwood; and Holy Trinity, Haugen. He continued as Pastor of this four-parish cluster for another year and a half.
In addition to pastoral ministry in the parishes, he also filled the role as Spiritual Director for Teens Encounter Christ (TEC); he served on the St. Pius Priest Fund Board of Directors, the Priest Personnel Placement Board and the Presbyteral Council. On June 23, 1998, he was appointed Adjutant Judicial Vicar Vice Officialis by Bishop Raphael M. Fliss; and on November 9, 2010, he was named Vicar General by Bishop Peter F. Christensen.
Return to menu
He was elected Diocesan Administrator on December 19, 2014, upon Bishop Peter Christensen’s transfer to the Diocese of Boise in Idaho. On December 15, 2015, he was named Bishop of Superior. His episcopal ordination took place on February 18, 2016, at Cathedral of Christ the King, Superior, Wisconsin, with Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, Principal Consecrator; and Bishop Peter F. Christensen and Bishop Paul D. Etienne, Co-consecrators.
Return to menu
Arms impaled. Dexter: Or, three crosses fitchy floretty Azure, the fleur-de-lis of each Argent; a chief wavy of the second. Sinister: Party per fess, Or and Gules, the fess barry wavy of two Azure and Argent; to chief a cross of the second charged with five lozenges of the fourth, between to chief dexter a trefoil Vert and to base sinister an escallop Sable; in base the head of an American Bald Eagle, erased, Proper.
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, that is the central and most important part of the design and tells to whom the design belongs, the external ornamentation, that tells the owner’s position or rank, and a motto, placed upon a scroll. By heraldic tradition the design is described (blazoned) as if being done by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus, where it applies the terms “sinister” and “dexter” are reversed as the design is viewed from the front.
For the bishop of a diocese, known as an Ordinary, his personal arms are joined (impaled) with the arms of his jurisdiction; in this case the Diocese of Superior.
The arms of the diocese are composed of a gold (yellow) field on which are displayed three crosses fitchy (the lower arm appears as a spike) floretty (each upper arm terminates in a fleur-de-lis) that are blue with the fleur-de-lis of each being silver (white). The use of the colors blue and gold, and the fleur-de-lis on each cross, that are often associated with the French and French heritage, honors the missionaries who brought the Catholic Faith to the Great Lakes region of North America and most especially to the territory that is now the Diocese of Superior. The number of crosses is Trinitarian to represent the Blessed Trinity and this whole field is placed below a chief (upper one-third of the design) that is blue, with a wavy edge to signify the waters of Lake Superior from which the See City has acquired its name.
For his personal arms, seen in the dexter impalement (right side) of the design, Bishop Powers has adopted a design that reflects his life and heritage.
His Excellency’s personal arms are composed of two main portions that are divided by a “fess” (a bar across the center) that is made up of two wavy barlets, blue and silver (white), that represent the waters of Lake Superior since the Bishop is a native son of the Diocese of Superior.
The upper portion of the design displays a red cross, of The Faith, on a gold (yellow) field. The cross is charged with five lozenges (diamond shapes) that are silver (white) and are a variant of the line of demarkation seen in the Powers family design honoring the heritage of his parents Thomas and Frances Powers. Within the quarters that are formed by the cross, to the upper left (chief dexter) is a green trefoil (variant on the shamrock) for St. Patrick and in the lower right (base sinister) a black scallop shell for St. James; the Bishop‘s Baptismal patrons.
The lower half of the Bishop’s design is red on which is seen the head of an American Bald eagle. This head is rendered “Proper,” that is, as it appears in nature. This national emblem evokes the love and appreciation that Bishop Powers has for America and his love of the outdoors, especially his northern Wisconsin homeland.
For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Powers has adopted the Latin phrase; “DEDUC ME, DOMINE, LUCE TUA.” This phrase, a slight variant of the 85th Psalm, expresses Bishop Powers’ deep conviction that it is only by surrendering to God’s Will that we can achieve our appointed tasks in life. And so, The Bishop declares “LEAD ME, LORD, BY YOUR LIGHT.”
The achievement is completed with the external ornaments that are a gold (yellow) processional cross, that extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a galero, with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See, of March 1969.
Bishop Powers’ Coat of Arms was designed by
Deacon Paul J. Sullivan of Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Return to menu