“He’s been an outstanding pastor, vicar for clergy, vicar general, friend and counselor,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., commenting on Msgr. Nickless’ s selection and his distinguished manner of service for the Archdiocese of Denver. “He has a great heart for families and a deep devotion to Catholic education and his brother priests. We’ll miss him sorely but also feel great joy for the people of the Diocese of Sioux City. They will quickly find in him a great brother and shepherd.”
Bishop-elect Nickless was ordained in 1973 and has spent his entire priestly ministry in various capacities in the Archdiocese of Denver. Most recently, he has served as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Lakewood, Colo., and Vicar General of the archdiocese. He has also previously served as Vicar for Clergy and Seminarians, pastor of the Shrine of St. Anne Parish in Arvada, member of the College of Consultors, member of Archdiocesan Priest’s Retirement Committee and Assistant Vocations Director for Seminarians.
A snippet from Our Lady of Fatima:
In June 2001, Monsignor Walker Nickless succeeded Father Thompson as pastor. Monsignor Nickless was no stranger to the parish. During his assignment as Vicar for Clergy and Seminarians and Vicar General of the Archdiocese, he lived at Our Lady of Fatima Rectory. On his first Sunday as pastor, he had to deal with a major leak from the air conditioning system that caused considerable damage to the rectory roof. Since that fateful day, however, Monsignor Nickless has led the parish in adopting the new liturgy, revitalized the junior and senior high school youth groups and has been very involved in the parish school. He has overseen many needed improvements to the school's physical plant, all while still fulfilling his responsibilities as Vicar General.
Archbishop Chaput's official statement:
November 10, 2005
Statement from Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap
on the appointment of Bishop-elect R. Walker Nickless
At noon Rome time, 4 a.m. Denver time today, Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. R. Walker Nickless as the seventh bishop of Sioux City, Iowa. Bishop-elect Nickless is in Sioux City today visiting the priests and people of his new local Church.
Bishop-elect Nickless has served the Church in northern Colorado in an outstanding way as pastor, vicar for clergy and vicar general. We will all greatly miss him as a friend. But his leadership will be a wonderful blessing for the Church in Sioux City.
Please join me in wishing our friend and brother Bishop-elect Nickless our warmest congratulations and prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver