Becoming a bishop is one of the highest honors bestowed on a priest who receives the fullness of Holy Orders, becoming a successor to the Apostles. The Sacred Heart Major Seminary community is pleased to congratulate the Most Reverend Gerald Vincke, a Sacred Heart graduate, whom Pope Francis appointed the twelfth bishop of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas, on June 13. Bishop-elect Vincke earned his Master of Divinity degree from Sacred Heart in April 1999 just prior to his June ordination for the Diocese of Lansing.
"Bishop-elect Vincke is an exceptional priest who radiates joy, a love for the Lord, and a deep desire to serve,” said Msgr. Todd J. Lajiness, rector and president of Sacred Heart. “Sacred Heart Major Seminary is proud that he is among our alumni and we assure him of our prayerful support as he accepts this new responsibility entrusted to him by Pope Francis."
Bishop-elect Vincke becomes the thirty-third alumnus of Sacred Heart to be appointed bishop, and the twenty-first since Sacred Heart’s 1988 re-founding as a major seminary under His Eminence, Edmund Cardinal Szoka.
"I welcomed with heartfelt gladness the news that Pope Francis has chosen Bishop-elect Vincke to lead the Diocese of Salina," said the Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, archbishop of Detroit and former rector of Sacred Heart. "His joy, love, and passion for Christ, and for His people, have been evident to me from the time I was the Bishop-elect's rector at Sacred Heart Major Seminary over thirty years ago. The people of Salina are blessed indeed to have Bishop-elect Vincke as their shepherd—one formed 'after the priestly Heart of Christ.' "
Bishop-elect Vincke is a Michigan native and was born in Saginaw, on July 9, 1964, the ninth of ten children. He attended Ferris State University, in Big Rapids, Michigan, and received a bachelor of arts degree in public relations and marketing. He studied philosophy at St. Thomas More College in Crestview, Kentucky; and theology at Athaneaum Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, before coming to Sacred Heart.
Like many members of the Sacred Heart alumni community, Bishop-elect Vincke has a heart for the New Evangelization. He was a faculty member and spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College, in Rome, for five years, beginning in 2010. While there, he obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) in the New Evangelization, with a focus on Spiritual Theology. His thesis was titled: “Following the Path of St. John Vianney for the New Evangelization with Evangelii Gaudium as a Guide.” Pope Benedict XVI named him a Monsignor in 2012.
Throughout his ministry in the Diocese of Lansing, the Bishop-elect held a number of positions including parochial vicar of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor, Michigan; director of Bethany House, a youth retreat center; and director of seminarians and vocations. After completing his STL in 2015, he was appointed to his current role as pastor of Holy Family parish. He serves on the Lansing Diocese’s Presbyterial Council, the Priest Assignment Committee, and the College of Consultors. Please pray for Bishop-elect Vincke as he brings the Good News of Jesus Christ to the faithful in Salina, Kansas.