Following the resignation of a Canadian bishop who left due to health reasons, the Holy Father on Tuesday appointed a new leader for the Diocese of St. Catharines, which is in the province of Ontario.
Bishop Gerard Paul Bergie – former auxiliary bishop of the Hamilton diocese – will succeed Bishop James Wingle as fifth bishop of the St. Catharines diocese.
Bishop Wingle left the diocese in April of this year, citing a lack of “stamina” in a letter to parishioners. The resigning prelate spoke of taking “a sabbatical centered on prayer and personal renewal.”
The Diocese of St. Catharine's released a statement on Tuesday, saying “it is with great joy” that they receive the news of Bishop Bergie's appointment.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1959, Bishop Bergie was raised and educated in Hamilton, studying at St. Jerome's College, the University of Waterloo and St. Peter's Seminary, London, Ontario. The prelate then received a Master's degree of Divinity from the University of Western Ontario and a Licentiate in Canon Law from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 1991.
After being ordained a priest in 1984, he served in parishes in Hamilton and Stoney Creek as well as holding the position of chancellor for the Diocese of Hamilton. Bishop Bergie was the first Canadian bishop appointed by Pope Benedict in 2005.
The diocese reported that Bishop Bergie is expected to be installed in the Diocese of St. Catharines within the next two months.