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Pope Names Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop New Catholic Bishop of Springfield, Mass.

Pope Francis today named Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, 56, as the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts. He will succeed Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, who has served as Springfield’s 8th bishop since 2004. Bishop McDonnell offered his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, in accordance with canon law. Bishop Rozanski will be introduced in Springfield at a press conference today and his installation will occur on August 12, 2014.

“It is with deep gratitude to Almighty God, to His Holiness, Pope Francis and to our Papal Nuncio Archbishop Vigano, that I accept His Holiness’ appointment to be the Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts,” Bishop Rozanski said. “I will remain forever grateful for the privilege to have ministered as priest and bishop in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for nearly 30 years. The formation and guidance that I have received from the dedicated archbishops, bishops, priests, religious men and women and laity of this wonderful Church leave me humbled, yet hope-filled in answering the call to be Bishop of Springfield. As we are united in our Faith, let us be faithfully united in prayer for one another.”

Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski was named Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore on July 2, 2004 by Pope John Paul II. Cardinal William H. Keeler ordained the new bishop at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on August 24, 2004 and assigned him to oversee the Catholic parishes of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Harford Counties. He succeeded Bishop William C. Newman, who retired in 2003. Bishop Rozanski’s responsibilities would later change with the creation of a new vicariate structure for the Archdiocese, overseeing the Seton Vicariate, whose territory included Allegany, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Washington Counties.

“Bishop Rozanski’s appointment is a blessing to the Church in Springfield and to the wider Church, which will benefit greatly from his many gifts, just as we have here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where he has so generously and effectively served throughout his entire priestly and episcopal ministry,” Archbishop Lori said. “I have witnessed the great affection and respect for Bishop Rozanski among clergy and laity alike. And I have marveled at the unique and close relationship he shares with so many people in nearly every corner of our Archdiocese.”

Bishop Rozanski was born in Baltimore on August 6, 1958. He attended Sacred Heart of Mary Elementary School in Dundalk and Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex before entering the Theological College at the Catholic University of America to study for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore on November 24, 1984.

His parish assignments included appointments as Associate Pastor at St. Anthony of Padua, Baltimore in 1985 and St. Isaac Jogues, Carney, in 1990. He served as Administrator and Pastor of Holy Cross and St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parishes in Baltimore from 1993-2000. He also served as Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Severna Park from 2000-2004. Other assignments included appointments at St. Michael, Overlea (1984), Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (1985), and Immaculate Conception, Towson (2000).

Media note: The media contact for the Diocese of Springfield is Mark Dupont. He can be reached at (413) 452-0648.