Pope John Paul II named Bishop Gordon D. Bennett, S.J., currently an auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Bishop of the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica, in the West Indies.
He will fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of Bishop Paul M. Boyle, C.P., whose request for retirement was accepted by the Holy Father. Bishops are required by Canon Law to submit a request to the Holy See for their retirement upon reaching the age of 75.
“As you accept the Holy Father’s call to a greater responsibility, you give us an extraordinary example of obedience, as you leave us for new, truly missionary labors,” Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing you back here soon, as you prepare for a formal leave taking, and regularly thereafter, as you return to seek support for your varied missionary activities. God keep you always!”
Bishop Bennett was born in Denver, Colorado on October 21, 1946. After graduating as the valedictorian of his class at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, he entered the Society of Jesus at age 17 and embarked on a career with the Church as a teacher and school administrator. Bishop Bennett’s academic achievements include a M.Ed. in Secondary School Administration from Loyola Marymount University. He became President of Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1996, before being appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Urban Vicar in 1998.
“Especially, I give thanks to God for the church communities of the Urban Vicariate (of the Archdiocese of Baltimore). You have, quite literally, formed me into the bishop I am, and I am quite sure that it is your formation, all that I have learned from you, that I will bring to this new mission in Mandeville, Jamaica,” Bishop Bennett said today in a statement released in Jamaica.