Linda Oppelt

Clergy, co-workers pay tribute to Bishop Sheridan

(Editor’s Note: Following are tributes submitted in honor of Bishop Sheridan by several individuals and organizations who worked closely with him during his tenure as ordinary of the diocese:

Father Bill Kraus, Director of The Catholic Center at The Citadel:

Bishop Sheridan was a great supporter and fan of The Catholic Center — “fan” in the sense that he always supported, promoted and prayed for this ministry. He celebrated with us our 20th anniversary last November, and often sent an encouraging comment in response to our monthly newsletter. As I removed his name from the center’s mailing list, I recall the words of the old pastor who said “we never remove the name of a deceased parishioner from our list, we just write ‘changed address.’”  From your new home, Bishop Michael, we ask for your continued support.

Christian and Christine Meert, former Directors of the Office of Marriage and Family Life:

Soon after we arrived in Colorado Springs in 2004, we met with Bishop Sheridan and invited him over for dinner. Our then- teenage daughter had blue hair! The following time Bishop came for dinner, the same teenage daughter had orange hair! That didn’t bother him.

After more conversations, he offered us (the opportunity) to start and manage a brand-new Office of Marriage and Family Life for the diocese. We said “yes” and worked closely with Bishop Sheridan for the following 16 years.

Bishop wanted to unify the requirements for marriage in the diocese. He also thought that couples deserved the best as they are the future of the Church.

He formed and presided over a committee that met once a month from June to October 2005 to write the diocesan marriage prep norms. His goal was for each couple to build a strong, Christ-centered family.

We were able to talk to him briefly a few days before he passed. We could tell him how much we loved him and that we were praying for him. He answered, “Prayers are welcomed.”

St. Mary’s High School:

The St. Mary’s High School family mourns the passing of Bishop Emeritus Michael Sheridan. Bishop Sheridan supported our school in numerous ways, both visible and behind the scenes.

In addition to financially supporting our financial aid programs, he was always sacramentally available to us. Over the years, he celebrated Mass for us, made himself available for our regular reconciliation days, presided at the baccalaureate Mass for our seniors, and confirmed many of our students.

Perhaps most importantly, he sent us priests! Whether it was having access to Father Brian Roeseler when he was our chaplain, or the assignment of Father Joe Dygert as a theology teacher, having clergy in the school is an immense blessing. That blessing was only possible because of Bishop Sheridan’s commitment to the students of St. Mary’s.

Our board of directors recognized that commitment to St. Mary’s as well as the broader community when Bishop Sheridan was named as our 2018 Marian Award recipient. The Marian Award is the highest honor our school can bestow, and it is awarded “in recognition of unselfish service to others and outstanding contributions to the community.”

“Unselfish” and “outstanding” are certainly words that our school family uses to describe the life and ministry of Bishop Michael Sheridan. We are grateful for his life. Eternal rest grant unto him…

Bill Howard, former editor-in-chief, The Colorado Catholic Herald.

When I arrived in Colorado Springs in the summer of 2005 as the new editor of The Colorado Catholic Herald, Bishop Sheridan tasked me with creating a team to build a new diocesan publication. The Holy Spirit brought together an incredibly talented group, and we quickly established our newspaper as one of high quality and one that brought national attention through a Catholic Press Association general excellence award after our first year of the relaunch.

While the team would grow and change over the next eight-plus years, the excellence remained, and I know made Bishop Sheridan proud. He always trusted and supported us however he could, often by letting us live out our Catholic media vocations. He sometimes checked in on us but mostly left us alone. With Bishop Sheridan’s blessing, we accomplished an incredible amount for such a small staff — including the building of a deep historical record of how the Gospel is being lived throughout the diocese.

The Herald was always protected with the prayers of so many people — particularly Bishop Sheridan. Right before the relaunch in June 2005, the Herald was quietly consecrated to Our Lady, whose protection has always been key. One of my cherished memories is how, early on, an annual tradition was established where Bishop Sheridan would celebrate a special Mass for our staff for the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists.

Personally, Bishop Sheridan was a spiritual father, with an open door whether I had a Herald or life item to discuss. I will always miss those after-work or weekend chats.

After I departed the Herald in 2014, we continued to stay in touch, and he was always available for a lunch when I was in town. I often nudged him to write books since he was such a clear thinker with a deep interior life, but he would shrug it off with a smile. Maybe one day a collection of his “Bishop’s Voice” columns will be turned into a book.

Bishop Sheridan allowed me to live my Catholic media vocation to the fullest, and for that I am forever grateful. He was an editor’s dream, and I feel so blessed that the Lord crossed our paths for those years with the Herald and beyond.

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem:

Bishop Sheridan had a compassion for the Christians of the Holy Land and encouraged generous support for the community of believers in the homeland of Jesus. He led pilgrimages to the Holy Land for the Knights and Dames. He encouraged members to maintain their personal commitment to strive to grow in holiness, and he invited them to participate in frequent vested delegations at ordinations and feast days that are significant to the order, such as The Exaltation of The Holy Cross. Through his participation and dedication, he significantly increased the order’s membership in Colorado.We are grateful for his example and encouragement to relive in a modern manner the spirit and ideals of the early Knights.

Joy Vostatek, Corpus Chrisi parishioner:

Bishop Sheridan gave us permission to start perpetual eucharistic adoration at Holy Apostles Parish in 2017. One year after it began, he dedicated Divine Mercy Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Apostles. The chapel and perpetual adoration continue to thrive.

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