Dubuque archbishop resigns

Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque invests Bishop Thomas Zinkula with the Episcopal Ring during Bishop Zinkula’s ordination and installation as Bishop of Davenport June 22, 2017 at St. John Vianney Church in Bettendorf, Iowa.

WASHINGTON (OSV News) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michael O. Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa, 68, for health reasons and has appointed retired Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States announced the resignation and appointment April 4.

“For health reasons, I asked our Holy Father Francis — may God preserve him — to accept my resignation as Archbishop of Dubuque. Jesus called me to this ministry, and I wouldn’t take my hands from this plow unless Jesus, through his Vicar on earth, called me away. And so it is, effective 4 April 2023,” Archbishop Jackels wrote in a letter posted on the archdiocesan website.

The archbishop, who turns 69 on April 13, gave no details about his health in the letter. He is six years younger than the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope.


“I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, praying with you, sharing meals together, joining you as a partner in ministry,” Archbishop Jackels wrote. “Keep up the good work. You’re great. God bless you. I’ll miss you,” he added. “Let us pray for each other, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.”

Bishop Thomas Zinkula, who served under Archbishop Jackels as an episcopal vicar and as rector of the seminary associated with Loras College in Dubuque, said, “He has always been faithful to the Church and to the Holy Father. It was a privilege serving with him as one of his priests and then as a brother bishop in the province of Iowa.”

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