WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis has named Father Michael G. Woost, an assistant professor of sacramental and liturgical theology, to be an auxiliary bishop of Cleveland.
Woost, 63, teaches at St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, Ohio, and also serves as interim director of the Cleveland diocesan Office of Worship.
His appointment was announced in Washington May 9 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio.
A Cleveland native, Woost was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Cleveland June 9, 1984.
The diocese did not immediately plan a news conference to introduce Woost after the announcement because he was attending a funeral.
In a story posted on the diocesan website, Woost said he was “stunned” by the appointment after receiving a call May 1 from Pierre. He said the call came soon after he had returned to his residence at the seminary after celebrating Mass at St. Mark Parish in Cleveland, where he helps on weekends.
“I didn’t know what to say,” he said.
Woost met Cleveland Bishop Edward C. Malesic for dinner that evening and learned how his role in the diocese would change as he takes on new responsibilities.
Malesic called the appointment “great news” in a statement from the diocese.
Describing Woost as “a highly respected, capable, and faithful man, Malesic said he expects the new bishop “will be a good helpmate with me in shepherding the wonderful people of our diocese.”
“I look forward to working closely with Bishop-elect Woost and ask our people to pray for him as he prepares to be ordained as a bishop of our church,” he added.
Two of Woost’s brothers also are priests in the Cleveland Diocese. Father David Woost is pastor of Divine Word Parish in Kirtland, while Father Thomas Woost is pastor of St. Brendan Parish in North Olmsted.
Another brother, Jon, is discerning ministry in the permanent diaconate.
In 2020, the brothers were featured in Northeast Ohio Catholic, the diocesan magazine. They said then that faith is the centerpiece of their family that included seven children. They prayed regularly, before and after meals, and the entire family attended Mass together.
“Our parents wanted us to be happy. They wanted us to choose what made us happy,” Father Michael Woost said at the time of how he and his brothers decided to become priests.
Bishop-designate Woost will continue his role with the diocesan Office of Worship until Malesic appoints a successor. He said he likely would continue to live at the seminary and maintain an office there. In addition, Malesic is open to him continuing to teach a class at the seminary.
In his new role, the bishop-designate said he is eager to work with Malesic and diocesan priests as they minister to the faithful.
The ministry of a bishop is unique, he said, explaining that it is a sacramental sign, noting how bishops belong to the universal church community, the body of Christ, and they unite people to Christ as they proclaim the Gospel message.
“I hope my ministry does that,” he said. “I want to be a ministry of communion. I am excited and looking forward to it.”
Woost’s episcopal ordination is set for Aug. 4 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland.
The bishop-designate served as Cleveland’s diocesan vocations director from 1989 to 1995 and then enrolled in advance studies in liturgy at The Catholic University of America, earning a licentiate in sacred theology in 2000. He later joined the seminary faculty and became dean of students and held other academic posts.
He has written widely and conducted retreats, parish mission, formation and sacramental programs.