Bishop Austin A. Vetter is pleased to announce that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Fr. Jeffrey Michael Fleming as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in Montana. Fr. Fleming has served in Montana as a priest of the Diocese of Helena since his ordination on May 19, 1992. His episcopal ordination will take place June 22, 2022, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Great Falls, Mont.

Of the appointment, Bishop Vetter said, “What a great honor for the people of the Diocese of Helena and Western Montana to have one of our priests named a bishop. Fr. Fleming has a true pastor’s heart, and the people of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings are richly blessed.  He will be missed in the Diocese of Helena, but it will be wonderful to have him next door in Eastern Montana. Our prayers go with Bishop-Elect Fleming during this time of transition.”

A native son of Montana, Fr. Fleming was born to Mike and Glenda Fleming in Billings and raised in Belt. He graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Mont., with degrees in Theology and Religious Education. He attended Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore. earning an MA in Theology, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1992, by Bishop Elden Francis Curtiss. He earned a Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL) in 1998 from The Catholic University of America.

He was assigned (1992) as Associate Pastor for the Anaconda Catholic Community and then (1996) to the Cathedral of St. Helena before an appointment as Chaplain to Carroll College and Priest Director of Legendary Lodge in 1998. In 2003 he was made pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Dillon before becoming the pastor (2006) at Christ the King Parish in Missoula. Pastoral responsibility (2013) for St. John the Baptist Parish in Frenchtown was added before he was assigned to Helena in 2019. While administrator for St. Thomas Parish in Helmville, St. Jude Parish in Lincoln, and Flint Creek Catholic Community, he served the Diocese of Helena as Director of the Chancery, Vice Chancellor, and Adjutant Judicial Vicar. In 2020 he was appointed Moderator of the Curia and Chancellor and in 2022 became the pastor of St. Mary Parish in Helena.

The Diocese of Great-Falls Billings is comprised of 95,158 square miles with a total population of 420,401. The 50 parishes and 50 missions in the diocese serve a Catholic population of 38,654.

Bishop Michael W. Warfel issued a press release this morning announcing the appointment. A Noon Press Conference today at St. Ann Cathedral in Great Falls will be streamed on the Great Falls-Billings Diocese Facebook page.

Please join us in prayers of thanksgiving for Coadjutor Bishop-elect Fleming and for his future ministry in Eastern Montana.

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Categories: Features