.- This morning, the Holy Father appointed a Phoenix priest, Fr. James S. Wall as the new bishop of Gallup, New Mexico. Fr. Wall, 44, will be the dioceseâs fourth bishop.
Fr. Wall, the current Vicar for Priests for the Diocese of Phoenix, was born in 1964 in Ganado, Arizona on the Navajo reservation. After studying History at Arizona State University, he went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from St. John Seminary in Camarillo California, Jim Dwyer from the Diocese of Phoenix told CNA.
He was then ordained a priest for the Diocese of Phoenix in 1998.
Since then, Fr. Wall has served several parishes and is currently both the Vicar of Priests for the diocese and the Director of Mount Claret Retreat Center in Phoenix.
The bishop-elect will continue his duties in the Diocese of Phoenix until he is consecrated as a bishop. The date for his consecration is not yet determined.
Bishop-elect Wall will fill the position left vacant when Bishop Donald E. Pelotte, who retired in April 2008. Bishop Pelotte attracted national attention when, in 2007, he fell down the stairs in his home, causing doctors to suspect he was the victim of an assault. The bishop maintained he was not attacked by anyone.
Later that year, Bishop Pelotte went on medical leave, and since January 2008, Bishop Thomas Olmstead from the Diocese of Phoenix has overseen the diocese.
Bishop-elect Wall will serve 58,000 Catholics and 53 priests.