“I am personally thrilled by today’s announcement, and Franciscan University shares the great joy of the faithful of the Diocese of Steubenville in learning that we now have a new bishop. We look forward to Monsignor Monforton’s installation and to working closely with him in the new evangelization,” said Father Henry.
“Just as Monsignor Monforton has formed young men for the priesthood as rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, we look forward to him forming the faithful of the Diocese of Steubenville.”
According to the press release from the Diocese of Steubenville, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, formally announced the appointment July 3 in Washington, D.C.
Monsignor Kurt H. Kemo, diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Steubenville, welcomed Monsignor Monforton to the diocese, informally July 2 and formally July 3 during a morning press conference at the chancery in Steubenville.
Monsignor Monforton will be ordained and installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville. He follows Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, Steubenville’s fourth bishop, who was installed July 14, 2011, as the bishop of Joliet, Ill.
Presently, Monsignor Monforton is pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Rochester, Mich. He was installed as that parish’s pastor May 13. The parish, established in 1911, has more than 4,900 registered households and is the largest parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Born May 5, 1963, in Detroit, he is the eldest of three sons of Marc Louis Monforton and Virginia Rose Ackerman Monforton. The new appointee attended Tinkham Elementary School and John Marshall Junior High, Westland, Mich., and graduated from Wayne Memorial High School, Wayne, Mich.
After high school, he attended Wayne State University and then entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, from which he received a bachelor of arts in philosophy degree in 1989. While studying at the Pontifical North American College, Rome, he received a bachelor’s in sacred theology in 1992; and then, he obtained a licentiate in sacred theology and was awarded a doctorate in sacred theology from Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
On June 25, 1994, he was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit, by Archbishop Adam Maida. Following his ordination, he served in the Archdiocese of Detroit as associate pastor at the National Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, from 1994-96, while also serving the faculty at the parish high school for two academic years in the Department of Religion.
For seven years, from 1998-2005, he served as the personal priest secretary to Cardinal Maida. During that time, he also was a member of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary faculty and assisted weekends at St. Paul on the Lake, Grosse Pointe Farms, and St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Sterling Heights.
In April 2005, he traveled with Cardinal Maida to the Vatican and remained there for the funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II, the conclave, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
On July 1, 2005, he was named pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Church, Shelby Township, Mich., and that same year was conferred the title of monsignor by Pope Benedict.
In addition, he was named as an apostolic visitor by the Congregation for Catholic Education to participate in the recent apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries and houses of formation for the academic year, 2005-06.
In 2006, he became a member of the Madonna University, Livonia, Mich., board of trustees. Since 2008, he has been a board member of the American Friends of the Vatican Library.
On August 24, 2006, he was named by Cardinal Maida as the 12th rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was installed as the rector October 29, 2006. He concluded his six-year term as Sacred Heart’s rector May 5. He continues, however, to serve the seminary as a part-time member of the theology faculty. Under Monsignor Monforton’s leadership, the seminarian population at Sacred Heart is the largest it has been in 38 years. Utilizing the resources of its newly created educational technology office, the seminary now teaches several online courses. And, for students in outlying areas of the Detroit archdiocese, courses are available at four parish satellite sites.
On learning of the appointment of Monsignor Monforton as bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said: “All of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit are deeply honored that Pope Benedict has chosen Monsignor Monforton, a son of this local church, to be the bishop of Steubenville.
“Monsignor Monforton is an exemplary priest and a zealous pastor - qualities we have come to appreciate during his years in the Detroit presbyterate, especially while he served as rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
“He will be greatly missed here, but the Lord has called him to greater responsibility for shepherding his flock. Monsignor Monforton goes with our prayers and best wishes; we’re sure he will be a blessing to the pastors and people of the church in Steubenville.”