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Obituary | Bishop Michael J. Sheridan

Bp. Sheridan
Bishop Emeritus Michael J. Sheridan, a native priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis who served as the second bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died Sept. 27 at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. He was 77.

A vigil for Bishop Sheridan will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Colorado Springs. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. (St. Louis time), with Archbishop Samuel Aquila as the main celebrant, and St. Louis native Cardinal Timothy Dolan performing the Final Commendation. 

The Mass will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Colorado Springs' Facebook page

Bishop Sheridan headed the Diocese of Colorado Springs since January 2003. In December 2001, Pope John Paul II named him coadjutor bishop of the diocese, with the right of immediate succession when Colorado Springs’ founding prelate, Bishop Richard C. Hanifen, retired.

He was born to Bernice and John Sheridan on March 4, 1945, in St. Louis. He attended Corpus Christi School in Jennings and graduated from St. Louis University High School, where he was known as an excellent student. He then enrolled in Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri.

At the end of his freshman year in college, he made the decision to enter Cardinal Glennon College Seminary in St. Louis and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1967. He then began his theology studies at Kenrick Seminary, where he was also active in the theater group. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1971, by Cardinal John J. Carberry.

After ordination, he continued his studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, earning a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. Upon returning to St. Louis, he was assigned to teach at Kenrick Seminary, where he remained for more than a decade, serving as a professor of systematic theology. He continued his love of acting, performing with other clergy with the Father William Scheid Players.

He returned to parish life in 1988, and served at several parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, including Christ the King in University City (1988-93) and Immacolata in Richmond Heights (1993-97). He also taught at the former Mercy High School in University City, at Cardinal Glennon College and the Paul VI Institute. In addition to his service at parishes, he was on the editorial board of the St. Louis Review from 1985-94.

In 1997, while serving as pastor of Immacolata, he was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Louis by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained a bishop by Archbishop Justin Rigali on Sept. 3, 1997, along with now-Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas. 

Among his many achievements during his tenure as Bishop of Colorado Springs were the development of a robust vocations program that resulted in the ordination of many new priests for the diocese and the construction of the St. John Henry Newman Chapel and Catholic Student Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

He also presided over the construction of several new churches in the diocese, including St. Dominic Parish in Security, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock, Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Woodland Park and St. Benedict Parish in Falcon.

Bishop Sheridan was a gifted speaker and teacher. Beginning in 2008, he hosted a weekly radio show during which he interviewed hundreds of guests – from cardinals to actors and musicians -- on a wide variety of topics related to the Catholic faith. The show remained on the air until October 2020.

Nationally, he has served on several committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education and a member of the Administrative Committee and the Committee for Priorities and Plans. He also was chairman of the episcopal advisory board of the Catholic Radio Association.

Bishop Sheridan is survived by two cousins, Nancy (Tony) Berra and Linda (Kevin) Noland; and two nephews.

Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. 

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