Jun 19, 2014

Pope names Bishop Rozanski as new bishop of Springfield



Staff report
(Photo by Fred LeBlanc)


SPRINGFIELD -- Pope Francis today named Bishop Mitchell Thomas Rozanski, currently an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as the ninth bishop of Springfield, Mass. He will succeed Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell who submitted his letter of resignation almost 18 months ago, as required by church law, on his 75th birthday, Dec. 23, 2012. 

Bishop McDonnell was appointed March 4, 2004 as bishop of Springfield and installed April 1, 2004. He came to Springfield from the Archdiocese of New York. He has indicated that he will retire here in western Massachusetts.

The acceptance of Bishop McDonnell’s resignation and the appointment of Bishop Rozanski were announced in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States and simultaneously by the Vatican Press Office. An installation date has been set for Tuesday August 12 at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield.

He will be the first bishop for the Diocese of Springfield with Polish roots.

Bishop Rozanski will be introduced this morning at a 10 a.m. press conference scheduled for the Bishop John Marshall Center. The press conference will be available via live streaming on the diocesan website www.diospringfield.org and the diocesan news website www.iobserve.org.

(CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Mitchell Thomas Rozanski was born in Baltimore on Aug. 6, 1958. A Baltimore native of Polish-American descent, he lived with his family in Fells Point, Md., where they attended Holy Rosary Parish. When he was 8 years old, the family moved to Dundalk and the parish of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Graceland Park, where he attended the elementary school. He graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School (Essex) and the Catholic University of America before entering the Theological College at the Catholic University of America where he received seminary training. 

He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on Nov. 24, 1984. He served as an associate pastor at St. Michael Parish, Overlea in 1984 and then the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. He was appointed associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Baltimore, in 1985 and St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Baltimore, in 1990. He was appointed administrator of Holy Cross and St. Mary Star of the Sea parishes in Baltimore in March 1993, before being appointed pastor there in October. In January 2000 he was appointed temporary administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish, Towson, Md., and in June assumed the same duties at St. John Parish before being named its pastor on Nov. 28, 2000.

 On July 3, 2004 he was named by Pope John Paul II as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and was ordained on Aug. 24, 2004 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Upon his ordination as bishop, he was named vicar general and episcopal vicar for the Seton Vicariate of the Archdiocese. He also served on the College of Consultors for the archdiocese and as the vicar for Hispanics. At the time of his ordination as a bishop in 2004, he was the youngest bishop in the United States.

                                  (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Bishop Rozanski has served on the National Committee for the Protection of Youth and Young People since January 2007. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. He also was named the episcopal moderator of the National Association of Holy Name Societies on Oct. 1, 2012, a term that runs through Sept. 30, 2017. He also will serve as the liaison with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Bishop Rozanski is co-chair for the Polish National Church – Roman Catholic Dialogue, Audit Subcommittee of USCCB, Knight Commander of the Royal Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and serves as a consultant to the National Association for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Bishop Rozanski is on the National Advisory Council of the USCCB for a three-year term through March 2015 and in November was elected as chair of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee of the USCCB.