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Bishop Golka celebrates Mass in honor of diocese’s 40th anniversary
Linda Oppelt

Bishop Golka celebrates Mass in honor of diocese’s 40th anniversary

By Veronica Ambuul

Photo: Bishop James Golka congratulates Maria Magalong on 25 years of service to the diocese on Jan. 30 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. 

COLORADO SPRINGS. Bishop James Golka celebrated Mass on Jan. 30 at St. Mary’s Cathedral to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Diocese of Colorado Springs in 1984.

In his homily, Bishop Golka paid tribute to Bishop Emeritus Richard Hanifen for organizing and staffing the new diocese with limited resources. He recalled meeting Bishop Hanifen for the first time while a seminarian for the Diocese of Grand Island in Nebraska.

“In January 1994, I was a transitional deacon getting ready for my final semester of seminary,” Bishop Golka said. “I was excused from a January term class to do the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. They sent me to (Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House in) Sedalia to do that — the first time I set foot in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.”

“About 10 days into that retreat, I was reveling in the silence when Bishop Hanifen arrived with all his priests to celebrate the diocese’s tenth anniversary. There was a tangible love between Bishop Hanifen and his priests,” said Bishop Golka.

After the Mass, diocesan employees celebrating milestone anniversaries were honored at a luncheon. The employee with the longest tenure was Maria Magalong, who retired in December 2023 after 25 years of service. Also honored was Father Kyle Ingels, who celebrated his tenth anniversary of arriving to serve in the diocese.

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