Pope Francis Appoints Father Erik Pohlmeier Bishop of St. Augustine

Bishop-elect Erik Pohlmeier shared his reaction to getting the call from the apostolic nuncio announcing Pope Francis had appointed him the 11th Bishop of St. Augustine. Photo by Fran Ruchalski.

On Tuesday, May 24, Archbishop Christopher Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, announced Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of St. Augustine, and has appointed Father Erik T. Pohlmeier, as Bishop-elect of St. Augustine. Bishop Estévez has been appointed apostolic administrator of the diocese until July 22, when Bishop-elect Pohlmeier is ordained the 11th bishop of St. Augustine.

A priest of the Diocese of Little Rock, Bishop-elect Pohlmeier serves as pastor at Christ the King Parish in Little Rock, and as director of the diocese’s continuing education for clergy, the permanent diaconate formation program, and the office of faith formation. 

Father Pohlmeier was born July 20, 1971, in Colorado Springs, Colo. He studied at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (1989-1991) and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana (1994); and at the Pontifical North American College and received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1995-1997). He received a master’s degree in spirituality from the St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University (Angelicum) in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 25, 1998.

The Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Felipe Estevéz, introduces his successor Father Erik Pohlmeier who will become the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine. Picture made May 24, 2022. Fran Ruchalski for the Diocese of St. Augustine

Bishop-elect Pohlmeier’s assignments after ordination include associate pastor at Christ the King Parish in Little Rock (1998-2001); pastor at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Village, St. Mary Church mission in McGehee, and Holy Child of Jesus Parish in Dumas (2001-2005); pastor at Holy Spirit Parish in Hamburg (2004-2005); pastor at Church of St. John the Baptist Parish in Hot Springs (2005-2010); pastor at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Parish in Little Rock (2010-2016). Father Pohlmeier’s ministry also includes serving at the diocesan level as director of the permanent diaconate formation program (since 2015), director of the diocese’s office of faith formation (since 2016), and director of continuing education of the clergy (since 2019). Since 2020, he has also served as pastor at Christ the King Parish in Little Rock, the largest parish in the diocese.

Bishop-elect Pohlmeier has also served as a member of the Diocese of Little Rock’s presbyteral council (2003-2006, 2011-2014, and 2021-present); the clergy personnel board (2011-2014, and 2020-present); college of consultors (2014-2019); and the clergy welfare advisory board (2015-2017, and 2019-present). The ordination Mass is Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., July 22, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville. The Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan website https://dosafl.com. For more details on Bishop-elect Pohlmeier, visit https://dosafl.com/newbishop/.

 As part of his tour of Catholic sites in St. Augustine, Bishop-elect Erik Pohlmeier took some time to pray to Our Lady of La Leche in the historic chapel at the National Shrine in St. Augustine. Photo by Fran Ruchalski.