Pope Francis has appointed Stonehill alumnus Rev. Arthur Colgan, C.S.C. as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chosica in the ecclesiastical province of Lima, Peru. Fr. Colgan’s ordination as bishop will take place in the Cathedral of Chosica in December later this year.
A member of the Class of 1968 at Stonehill and a former College trustee, Fr. Colgan has spent much of his religious life serving the Church in its outreach to the poor in Peru. Based in the economically marginalized Lima neighborhood of Canto Grande, he most recently served as the Vicar General of Chosica Diocese.
Alumni records indicate that Fr. Colgan is the first Stonehill alumnus to be appointed as a bishop in the Catholic Church. In his new role, Fr. Colgan will continue his close collaboration with Bishop Norbert Klemens Strottman Hoppe, M.S.C., who received an honorary degree from Stonehill in 2010.
“Throughout his religious life, Fr. Colgan has stood shoulder to shoulder with the poor who live in sprawling, underserved communities around greater Lima. Active in cultivating lay participation, he always leads by example and is inevitably unflappable and gracious even under the most difficult circumstances. He works tirelessly with the displaced and the impoverished. That the Holy Father has given him this new ministry is a great honor and one we all celebrate especially given that he is our first alumnus bishop,” said President John Denning, C.S.C.
Fr. Colgan has long been a theological advisor to the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference and has contributed to many pastoral letters that have grappled with the social and political problems facing Peru.
In 1993, Fr. Colgan received the College’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in recognition of his dedication to building a church that ministers to the poor. The citation in his honor hailed him as "a man of hope in a time of tribulation."
“ It is a joyful surprise to hear of Fr. Colgan’s appointment as a Bishop in Peru in that Pope Francis chose an “American missionary” rather than an indigenous priest. However, why not a surprise? Because if Pope Francis is looking for Bishops who are not “careerists” and truly meet the “smell as sheep” criteria then in Fr. Colgan Pope Francis has in front of him a perfect candidate. The appointment also speaks volumes about the Congregation’s ministry and service to the people of Peru, the parishes; the schools including the establishment of the first kindergarten in Peru; the establishment of Yancana Huasy, the first program for Down Syndrome persons and other forms of developmental challenges; a noviate and seminary program; and a center for family assistance and support and treating domestic violence,” said Professor of Religious Studies Peter Beisheim who teaches courses on Global Catholicism and the Church & Social Justice.
In addition to his degree from Stonehill, he received a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Catholic University in Chile in 1973.
Born in Dorchester and raised in Stoughton, Fr. Colgan attended Boston College High School and spent one year at Boston College before transferring to Stonehill. At Commencement 1968, he was singled out for three academic awards—the graduate with the highest scholastic average, the highest ranking graduate in liberal arts and the highest average for all courses taken in philosophy.
Fr. Colgan has served in a variety pastoral and administrative roles, including Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Superior of the Congregation in Peru, Episcopal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Lima, and theological assessor of the Episcopal Commission for Social Action of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference. In addition to his service on Stonehill’s Board of Trustees, he also served on the Board of Holy Cross Family Ministries.