Pope Benedict XVI appointed new bishops on March 20 for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Dioceses of Rockford, Ill., and Tallahassee-Pensacola, Fla.
The Pope filled the position for the oldest U.S. archdiocese of Baltimore on Tuesday with Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., who serves as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Religious Freedom.
Msgr. David Malloy, former general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will take over the apostolic duties of the Diocese of Rockford, while Father Gregory Parkes will become bishop of Tallahassee-Pensacola.
“I look forward to the opportunity,” Bishop-designate Malloy said during a March 20 press conference.
He said that, as bishop, he will especially focus on promoting vocations and continue to work for better catechesis of the faithful, although he is already very impressed with the diocese’s devotion to the sacraments and service to the poor.
Bishop-designate Malloy said that fostering vocations to the priesthood is especially important because priests are very often “the most immediate impact” of the Church.
Improvements to education programs will be of great importance to his role as bishop because people, especially the youth, are “hungry” to know the truth of their faith.
Although there is a “heavily secular presence” in society, Bishop-designate Malloy said that there is already a “real kind of renewal” happening in the Diocese of Rockford, and he hopes to continue it.
Before appointing Bishop-designate Malloy to Rockford, Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of his predecessor, 76-year-old Bishop Thomas Doran, who had served the diocese as bishop since 1994.
As former vicar general and chancellor for canonical affairs in Orlando and pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Celebration, Fla., Bishop-designate Parkes said that his appointment as bishop is “a moment you never prepare for.”
However, he believes that “when the Lord calls us to do something, he also gives us what we need to accomplish it for his glory.”
He noted that his first duty as bishop will be meeting the faithful of Tallahassee-Pensacola, along with the religious and clergy.
“I look forward to getting to know you and this beautiful and diverse diocese,” Bishop-designate Parkes said in a March 20 statement.
Bishop-designate Parkes will succeed Bishop John Ricard, who submitted his resignation in March 2011 due to health reasons.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who has served as the diocese’s apostolic administrator since last March, said that the Pope made “an excellent choice” in his appointment.
“Bishop-designate Parkes has served me very well,” Archbishop Wenski said in a March 20 press release. “He is a good priest and a holy man.”
Along with three new U.S. bishops, the Pope appointed Bishop Christian Lepine on March 20, formerly the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Montreal, Canada, as the archbishop of that archdiocese.