The Bishops

Bishop Kagan
Bishop Kagan was born in Waukegan, Illinois, Nov. 9, 1949, and grew up in Spring Grove. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa; an S.T.B. in Sacred Theology and M.A. in Sacred Theology and a licentiate in Canon Law all from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Bishop Kagan was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill in 1975. He served the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, in several parishes both as associate pastor and pastor. He has served as chaplain for Maria Linden and for the Poor Clare Colettines in Rockford. He has been director of the Office of Communication and of Vianney Oaks Retirement Home.

Bishop Kagan’s diocesan administrative positions included service to the Tribunal as judge, vice-officialis and as officialis; service as chancellor ad interim, promoter of the Third Legislative Synod of the diocese; associate publisher of The Observer; misconduct officer for the diocese; and service as diocesan consultor, moderator of the curia, and vicar general.

Bishop Kagan was named a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness and received the title of monsignor in 1994 and was admitted to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem as a Knight Commander in 1995. In July 2011, he was invested in the Ferrialo of a Prelate to signify his elevation to the title of Protonotary Apostolic Super Numerary of the Supreme Pontiff which is the highest level of honor for a monsignor.

Following his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI, David D. Kagan became the seventh Bishop of Bismarck on November 30, 2011. On July 18, 2012, upon the appointment of then-Bishop of Fargo Samuel Aquila as Archbishop of Denver, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Kagan apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Fargo. He served in this role until Monsignor John Folda was ordained and installed as the eighth Bishop of Fargo on June 19, 2013. Bishop Kagan began a three-year term on the Board of Governors at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri on January 1, 2014. He also currently serves as the Region VIII Coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a one-year appointment that began in November 2013.
Bismarck Coat of Armns
Bishop Folda
John Thomas Folda was born on Aug. 8, 1961, in Omaha, Neb., the son of Mabel and the late James Folda. He is the youngest of three children.

Bishop Folda grew up in Omaha, where he attended St. Thomas More Grade School and Archbishop Ryan High School. After graduating from high school in 1979, he attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he studied architecture and electrical engineering.

In August 1983, Bishop Folda entered seminary formation for the Diocese of Lincoln. He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and graduated in 1985 with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy. He continued his theological studies at St. Charles Seminary, where he earned a master of divinity degree in 1988 and a master of arts in theology in 1989.

On May 27, 1989, Bishop Folda was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln by Bishop Glennon Patrick Flavin. For two years, he served as parochial vicar at Cathedral of the Risen Christ, and was a teacher of religion at Pius X High School in Lincoln.

In 1991, Bishop Folda was sent to Rome, where he earned a licentiate in sacred theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. Upon returning to the Diocese of Lincoln in 1993, he was assigned as pastor of St. Paulinus Church in Syracuse and Holy Trinity Church in Avoca. He was also guidance counselor and teacher of religion at Lourdes Central Catholic Schools in Nebraska City. During this time, he also served as assistant to the Vicar General of the Diocese of Lincoln.

In 1995, Bishop Folda was appointed pastor of St. Leo Church in Palmyra and St. Martin Church in Douglas, while continuing to work in the diocesan offices. In 1997, he was appointed diocesan Director of Religious Education, Co-Vicar for Religious, Master of Ceremonies, and Censor Librorum. He was also appointed Delegate of the Bishop to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and continues as vice president of the Board of Directors. Bishop Folda has been a member of the Board of the Nebraska Catholic Conference since 1993. He has also been a member of the Presbyteral Council, College of Consultors, Finance Council, Priests’ Continuing Education Committee, Catholic Social Services Board and the Ethics Committee of St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center.

In 1999, Bishop Folda was appointed rector of St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Neb. He served as president of the National Association of College Seminaries from 2008 to 2010. On Oct. 10, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named him “Chaplain of His Holiness” with the title of Monsignor.

On April 8, 2013, Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Fargo. He was installed and ordained on June 19, 2013.
Fargo Coat of Arms
What We Do

The North Dakota Catholic Conference acts on behalf of the Roman Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine.
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