.- Today Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Paul J. Bradley, currently auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh as the new bishop of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Upon learning the news, the bishop spoke of his gratefulness and excitement at being appointed the fourth Bishop of Kalamazoo.
"I want to express my deep gratitude to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for the trust he has placed in me by appointing me as the Bishop of Kalamazoo,” said Bishop Bradley. “I am both humbled and excited by this great opportunity to serve the Church as your shepherd.”
The new appointee also spoke of his appreciation for the time he spent in Pittsburgh and asked for prayers from his former diocese. Bishop Bradley also spoke “of my profound gratitude for the privilege of serving the Church of Pittsburgh as priest and bishop for these past 38 years.”
“To my family, friends, co-workers and the faithful of Pittsburgh, I beg for your prayers and your ongoing love and support in this time of transition. From the day of my birth, to the day of my ordination to the priesthood and then to the episcopate, I have been profoundly inspired and blessed by the depth of your faith, beginning with my parents, and inclusive of everyone I know and love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Bishop Bradley will succeed Bishop James A. Murray, whose resignation was accepted by the Holy Father after he turned 75, the age of retirement, in July 2007.
According to the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Bishop Bradley was born on October 18, 1945 in Glassport, Pa., studied at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1971. He was named auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh in 2004.
The current Bishop of Pittsburgh, Bishop David A. Zubik noted that while he is pleased with Bishop Bradley’s appointment, Bradley’s leadership will be missed in the diocese. “We celebrate with the faithful of the Diocese of Kalamazoo who will be blessed with Bishop Bradley’s ministry. At the same time, we realize that we are losing an adviser, a leader, a spiritual mentor and a friend who has served the Church of Pittsburgh so well since his ordination as a priest nearly 38 years ago.”
He also assured those in Kalamazoo that they will have “a true Shepherd” in their new bishop. “As the Holy Father recognizes in this appointment, the Church universal is blessed to have a man of Bishop Bradley’s strength and faith serving in apostolic ministry.”
The installation ceremony for Bishop Bradley is scheduled for June 5 at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo. He will then serve 107,700 Catholics and 76 priests in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.