Bishop William H. Bullock, Third Bishop of Madison, Dies

Posted Monday, April 4, 2011 --- 5:45 p.m.

From the Diocese of Madison:

(Madison) The Diocese of Madison sadly announces the death of Most Reverend William H. Bullock, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Madison. Bishop Bullock died peacefully the afternoon of Sunday, April 3rd, at the age of 83 at his residence at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison. In recent weeks, Catholics in the Diocese of Madison were asked to pray for Bishop Bullock, who had only recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Funeral provisions are pending and an update, regarding final arrangements, will be posted as soon as they are available.

Bishop Bullock was born on April 13, 1927, in Maple Lake, Minnesota. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II he completed seminary studies and was ordained a priest for the then-Archdiocese of Saint Paul in 1952. Father Bullock undertook three parochial assignments before being named an instructor and then headmaster at St. Thomas Academy, St. Paul. Concurrent with his duties at St. Thomas, Father Bullock completed an M.A. in Liturgy and Religious Education at The University of Notre Dame and an ED.S. at St. Thomas University. From 1971-1980 he served as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Excelsior, MN and in 1980 was named Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. On February 10, 1987 Bishop Bullock was named by Pope John Paul II Bishop of Des Moines and on April 13, 1993 was named the third Bishop of Madison. Serving past the age of retirement, Bishop Bullock began his service as an active Bishop Emeritus on May 23, 2003.

As shepherd of the Diocese of Madison for ten years, Bishop Bullock outlined his priorities early on: encouraging increased spirituality among the priests and laity of the diocese, evaluating ways to efficiently use buildings, programs and agencies, and to build a vision for the Diocese together. Bishop Bullock, at his installation in 2003, stressed the importance of Christian love in this vision, saying: “First, loving and trusting God and second, loving our neighbor generously and without resentment. If we continue to do that, nothing will be able to separate us from the love of Christ.”

During his years of leadership of, and service to, the Diocese, Bishop Bullock established the official archives of the diocese; established the thriving St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series, as an opportunity to experience that life giving presence of Catholic Tradition, to learn more about their faith and to live charity more authentically; led the Diocese of Madison in celebrating its 50th anniversary (1996), and gave the great work started by St. Martin House a real home through formally opening the Catholic Multicultural Center (2002). His vision at the CMC is continued through the generous leadership and work of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, in Madison.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino often said of Bishop Bullock in life, and repeats now in his passing, that “He was an ideal predecessor for me and I could not be more grateful for that. The impact of his labors here bears fruit to this day, and I’m thankful to have known and served with him. Please pray with me that he may be granted by the Almighty those gifts which served as his three-word Episcopal Motto: Grace, Mercy, Peace.”

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Catholic Multicultural Center through Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church would be appreciated. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.