Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he has accepted the resignation of Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore and appointed Reverend John B. Brungardt of Wichita as the sixth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City.
Bishop-Elect Brungardt is currently pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in St. Mark, and Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. He will succeed Bishop Gilmore, who has served the Dodge City diocese since July 16, 1998. Bishop Emeritus Gilmore plans to continue residing in Dodge City in retirement.
“I am humbled by Pope Benedict XVI’s appointment of me as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City. With trust in God, I hope to be a good shepherd to the people of southwest Kansas, from Odin to Elkhart, from Tribune to Kiowa,” Bishop-elect Brungardt said during a press conference at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dodge City. “Building on the foundation of Bishop Gilmore and his predecessors, the priests, religious, and laity, I hope to carry on the mission of spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to the people of the diocese.”
Ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1998, by Bishop Eugene J. Gerber at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, Bishop-elect Brungardt has served the Wichita diocese for the past 12 years in a variety of pastoral assignments. He has served as pastor at seven parishes, chaplain and religion teacher at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School from 1998-2001, as director of the diocesan office of Respect Life and Social Justice from 1999-2004, moderator of the diocesan office of Hispanic ministry since 2005, and chancellor of the diocese since 2005.
Bishop-Elect Brungardt was born July 10, 1958, in Salina, to the late Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Virginia (Burton) Brungardt. He received a bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics in 1980 from Benedictine College, a master’s degree in Physics in 1983 from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in 1993 from Kansas State University. He completed his seminary formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Oh. in 1998 with a master’s of Divinity and a master of arts in Moral Theology.
“The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has chosen one of the exemplary priests of the Diocese of Wichita to serve as Bishop of the Diocese of Dodge City,” said The Most Reverend Michael O. Jackels, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. “We are happy to share with others God’s gifts to us, but we will still feel the loss; we will miss Father Brungardt and his ministry. The people of southwestern Kansas are getting one of our best.”