Wolfrum Consecrated in Colorado

Episcopal News Service. January 15, 1980 [81013]

Barbara Benedict and Salome Breck

DENVER -- The first consecration and ordination of an Episcopal bishop in the Diocese of Colorado in more than 20 years took place on Jan. 6, when the Rev. William H. Wolfrum was ordained Suffragan Bishop. The ceremony took place in St. John's Cathedral here.

January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany, a major Christian holiday which marks the end of the 12-day Christmas season. It commemorates the coming of the Wise Men who followed a star to worship the Christ Child.

Wolfrum, who was elected suffragan bishop at a special diocesan convention last Sept. 13, will assist the Rt. Rev. William C. Frey who became Colorado's diocesan bishop in 1973. He comes from Worland, Wyo., where he had been rector of St. Alban's Church since 1971. His consecration was on the twenty-first anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. His ministry has been in New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.

The last time an Episcopal bishop was consecrated in Colorado was in 1960 when the Rt. Rev. Edwin B. Thayer was made suffragan bishop. He was later elected diocesan bishop and retired in 1973.

Bishop Frey had already been consecrated and had served as Bishop of Guatemala when he was elected to the Colorado post.

The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. John M. Allin, traveled to Denver to be chief consecrator of Colorado's new suffragan. Co-consecrators were Bishop Frey, Bishop Thayer, Bishop Scott Field Bailey of West Texas, Bishop Bob G. Jones of Wyoming, and Bishop Richard M. Trelease of the Rio Grande, comprising New Mexico and Southwest Texas. Bishop Bailey was preacher for the service.

Clergy and laity from throughout Colorado, as well as ecumenical representatives and visitors from out of state, filled the cathedral. A reception for the new bishop and his family followed in the cathedral's Dagwell Hall and Roberts Building.

The Colorado Diocese includes 100 parishes and missions and has 39,168 baptized members. Its borders coincide with those of the state.

Wolfrum was born Jan. 16, 1926, in Warrensburg, Mo., and graduated from Central Missouri State University with a B.S. in Biology in 1950. He served in the Army from 1944 to 1946 and again in 1950-51.

After earning a master's degree in Fisheries Management from Cornell University in 1952, he was a regional fisheries biologist with the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, 1953-1956. He then entered the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, Tex., graduated in 1959, and was ordained deacon in 1959, and priest in 1960.

Wolfrum married Beverly Ann Gunn in 1949. They have three grown children and one grandchild.

As his background suggests, Wolfrum is an outdoorsman who enjoys working with horses, pack trips, trout fishing, fly tying, elk hunting, and cross country skiing.