FLISS formalAs the Catholic Herald went to press, funeral arrangements were pending for Bishop Raphael Michael Fliss, who passed away Monday, Sept. 21. He was 84.

Born in Milwaukee Oct. 25, 1930, to Paul P. and Valeria (Kosobuck) Fliss, he received his priestly formation at St. Francis Minor Seminary and St. Francis Major Seminary, Milwaukee.

Following his ordination in 1956, he completed graduate work in canon law at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., receiving a licentiate degree in sacred theology. In 1962, Bishop Fliss studied in Rome at the Lateran University and received a doctorate in canon law.

Bishop Fliss’ priestly assignments were varied, including assistant pastor for his home parish of Christ the King, Wauwatosa, and assistant pastor for the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee, as well as secretary and master of ceremonies for two archbishops.

Following completion of his doctoral studies, he returned to the archdiocese, where he served in a number of archdiocesan capacities, including notary in the curia and defender of the bond.

In 1969, he was appointed vice chancellor, while continuing as secretary and master of ceremonies to the archbishop. He was appointed rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in 1978.

On Nov. 6, 1979, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Fliss coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Superior with the right of succession to Bishop George Hammes. When Bishop Hammes retired in 1985, Bishop Fliss became the ninth bishop of the diocese on June 27, 1985. He retired June 28, 2007.

Bishop Fliss was preceded in death by his parents, his brother George and his wife Winnie, his brother Howard and his wife Doris.  He is survived by his brother Art (Marilyn) and 11 nieces and nephews, along with many friends and supporters.

Editor’s note: A comprehensive look at Bishop Fliss’ life and service to the Diocese of Superior will appear in the Oct. 8 issue of the Catholic Herald.


Bishop Fliss’ wake and funeral information is below:


Rite of Reception of the Body

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Christ the King, 1410 Baxter Avenue, Superior, WI


Evening Prayer Vigil Service

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – 7:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Christ the King, 1410 Baxter Avenue, Superior, WI


The Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, October 1, 2015 – 12:00 Noon

Cathedral of Christ the King, 1410 Baxter Avenue, Superior, WI


Rite of Committal following Mass

Calvary Cemetery, 3424 East Highway 105, Superior, WI