COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Retired Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, who served as the bishop of Colorado Springs from 2003 until his retirement in 2021, died peacefully at Penrose Hospital Sept. 27, the diocese announced.
He was 77. No cause of death was given.
A vigil will be held Oct. 6 at St. Mary’s Cathedral with Bishop James R. Golka of Colorado Springs presiding.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Oct. 7 at Holy Apostles Church with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York as the principal celebrant.
Michael John Sheridan was born to Bernice and John Sheridan March 4, 1945, in St. Louis. He attended Corpus Christi Catholic School 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-Glennon Seminary, where he also was active in the theater group.
He was ordained a priest May 29, 1971, by Cardinal John J. Carberry, then archbishop of St. Louis. 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-Glennon Seminary, where he remained for more than a decade. He continued his love of acting, performing with other clergy in a group called the Priestly Players.
He returned to parish life in 1988 and served at several parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
In 1997, while serving as pastor of Immacolata Parish in Richmond Heights, Missouri, he was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Louis by St. John Paul II. He was ordained a bishop Sept. 3, 1997, by then-Archbishop Justin Rigali, who head the St. Louis Archdiocese from 1994 to 2003, when he was named a cardinal.
Another St. Louis auxiliary was ordained the same day as Bishop Sheridan — then-Bishop Joseph F. Naumann, who has been the archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, since 2005.
On Dec. 4, 2001, St. John Paul named Bishop Sheridan coadjutor of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. He automatically became its bishop in 2003 upon the resignation of Bishop Richard C. Hanifen, then 72, who was the founding bishop of the diocese when it was created in 1984.
Bishop Sheridan was installed to head the diocese Jan. 30, 2003.
His achievements during his tenure as bishop of Colorado Springs included 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.
Bishop Sheridan 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.
The bishop was known as 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.
He is survived by two cousins, Nancy (Tony) Berra and Linda (Kevin) Noland, and two nephews.