The Most Rev. David J. Walkowiak, bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, will visit Hope College for an ecumenical, informal time of coffee and conversation on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall through the Saint Benedict Forum’s Catholic-Reformed Dialogue series.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Walkowiak was appointed the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids by Pope Francis on April 18, 2013.  The event will provide an opportunity for members of the Hope and Holland communities to engage the bishop with questions and for the bishop to share some of his vision with the community.

Born in East Cleveland, Ohio, Walkowiak attended the University of Notre Dame, where in 1975 he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and international studies. He studied at Saint Mary Seminary in Cleveland and received a Master of Divinity degree in 1979.

He was ordained to the priesthood June 9, 1979, by the late James Cardinal Hickey at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Cleveland.  He later studied canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received the Licentiate degree in 1984 and the Doctorate degree in 1987.

From 2006 until becoming bishop in Grand Rapids, Walkowiak was pastor of Saint Joan of Arc Parish in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  His previous appointments included serving as associate pastor to Saint Mary Parish in Lorain, Ohio; as a member of the faculty of Saint Mary Seminary in Cleveland, Ohio; as vice chancellor of the Diocese of Cleveland; and as an adjutant judicial vicar for the appeals court of Cincinnati, Ohio, Steubenville, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.  He is the Episcopal Moderator of the Saint Benedict Forum.

The Saint Benedict Forum is an outreach of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, with which the college’s Campus Ministries program has a covenantal partnership.  Campus sponsors of Walkowiak’s visit include Campus Ministries, the Office of the Provost and the Department of Religion.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., on College Avenue between 10th and 12th streets.