Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Newest Numbers

Yesterday's double appointment saw new bishops named in the vacant dioceses of Scranton, Pa. and Ogdensburg, NY. Scranton had been waiting on a new bishops since the August 31, 2009 resignation of Bishop Joseph Martino (and auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty). Ogdensburg has been in wait mode since April 21, 2009, when Bishop Robert Cunningham was appointed bishop of Syracuse.

One notable aspect of yesterday's appointment was that both new bishops were, in effect, already overseeing the day-to-day operations of their respective dioceses as administrators. (Bishop-elect Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg was a full administrator while Bishop-elect Joseph Bambera of Scranton was the delegate of Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, the actual administrator, but that's beside the point.)

Also notable about the appointment is that it reduces the number of vacant U.S. dioceses to three:
  • Springfield, Illinois -- since the June 3, 2009 appointment of Archbishop George Lucas to Omaha
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- since the November 14, 2009 appointment of Bishop Kevin Rhoades to Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin -- since the November 14, 2009 appointment of Archbishop Jerome Listecki to Milwaukee
As Rocco Palmo and others have noted in Church circles, this is a historic low. Also low are the bishops serving past their retirement age, which still stands at four:
  • Bishop William Higi of Lafayette, Indiana -- age 76
  • Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle -- age 76
  • Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington -- age 75, soon to be 76
  • Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City -- age 75
There will be no new additions to this list until April, when two more U.S. bishops turn 75.

Hat tip to David Cheney.

1 comment:

JSullivan said...

Here in Springfield we are fervently praying for our new bishop:

Lord God,
you are our eternal shepherd and guide.
In your mercy grant your Church of Springfield in Illinois a shepherd
who will walk in your ways
and whose watchful care will bring us your blessing.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.