Grams elected to serve as administrator of the New Ulm Diocese
NEW ULM — Monsignor Douglas L. Grams was elected by the diocesan College of Consultors to serve as the diocesan administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm, effective Aug. 10. This follows the Aug. 6 announcement by Pope Francis of the acceptance of the retirement of the Most Rev. John M. LeVoir, who has served the diocese since 2008.
According to the Code of Canon Law, when the bishop of a diocese vacates his office, and no simultaneous appointment is made by the Holy See to fill the office, a diocesan administrator is elected by the College of Consultors to govern the diocese. As administrator, Monsignor Grams will assume the administrative responsibilities of a diocesan bishop until the pope appoints a new bishop. In 2007, when the Diocese of New Ulm became vacant due to the appointment of Bishop John C. Nienstedt as coadjutor bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Grams was elected diocesan administrator of the diocese, serving from December 2007 until the appointment of Bishop LeVoir in 2008.
The current members of the College of Consultors are Monsignor Eugene Lozinski, the Rev. Steve Verhelst, the Rev. Mark Steffl, the Rev. Craig Timmerman, the Rev. Anthony Stubeda, and Monsignor Douglas Grams. Following the election, Grams said,“I am honored to serve as interim administrator for the Diocese of New Ulm until our Holy Father, Pope Francis, appoints a new bishop for our diocese. My prayer is that the Lord will guide me in this new leadership journey and that a bishop will be appointed soon.”
Grams was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1987, at the Church of the Holy Rosary, North Mankato, by Bishop Raymond A. Lucker. Since ordination, he has served parishes in the communities of Sleepy Eye, Searles, Tracy, and Walnut Grove. He currently serves as rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm and is pastor of the parishes in the Holy Cross Area Faith Community (Lafayette, New Ulm, Searles, and West Newton Township). Diocesan positions he has held include defender of the bond and associate judge for the diocesan Marriage Tribunal, chancellor, and director of priest personnel. Since 2002, Grams has served concurrently as vicar general of the diocese under the last two bishops. In addition to his diocesan administrator responsibilities, Monsignor Grams will continue to serve as the Diocese of New Ulm’s Bishop’s Delegate in Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, a position he has held since 2002.