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Holy Father appoints new bishop to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands

.- This morning Pope Benedict appointed Msgr. Herbert A. Bevard from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as the bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  The bishop-elect said in a statement that he accepted the appointment “with eagerness and joy.” 

Born in 1947 in Baltimore, Msgr. Bevard was ordained a priest in 1972.  He has served the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as a priest for 36 years - most recently as pastor of St. Athanasius parish in Philadelphia.

“I am so eager to come to know my brother priests as well as deacons, religious and all the faithful in the parishes and missions of the Diocese of St. Thomas and to continue the good work of His Excellency Bishop George V. Murry and his dedicated predecessors.”

Bishop Murry was named bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio in January, 2007.  Since then, the diocese of St. Thomas has been served by the diocesan administrator, Msgr. Michael F. Kosak. 

Msgr. Bevard commended Msgr. Kosak for his efforts since 2007.  “His care for the priests and people of the Diocese of St. Thomas is known by all the faithful.  Only I know of the solicitude and kindness which he has shown to me since he has learned of my appointment.”

The bishop-elect also expressed his gratitude for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  “For thirty-six years I have been privileged to serve the Church of Philadelphia as a priest.  I am thankful to His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali for his goodness to me.  In extending my deepest gratitude to him, I also extend my appreciation to his predecessors and to all the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

“With great anticipation, I await my ordination at the hands of His Excellency Metropolitan Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and my installation as Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands on the Third of September 2008 at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul in Charlotte Amalie.  Confident of the help of God, I commend all my efforts to His greater honor and glory and I consecrate them anew to the spread of His Kingdom on earth.”

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