This morning the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI has named the Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Most Reverend David A. Zubik as the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Bishop Zubik’s reaction to the news was that he was “stunned” to hear of his appointment by the Pope.
At a press conference this morning to announce his appointment to head the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop Zubik spoke about the speculation in the press as to who would be the new leader for the diocese.
The speculation came in the form of a list dubbed, “The Magic Ten” that the press had created in anticipation of the Vatican filling the vacant see. Zubik said that he was amused to see his name on the list and then joked that, “Obviously all of you [the press], must be more in contact with God than I am.”
When asked to recall the moment he received the news of his new position he said, “It’s one of those times where you remember exactly where you were when it happened…I remember that I received the call at 3:35 pm on July 9th. That is also the time I was born at, 3:35.” The charge d’affaires of the Vatican nunciature, said to me, “I have some news that will change your life,” after which he told him of the Holy Father’s decision.
Bishop Zubik said that his reaction to the news was that he was “stunned.” “I am stunned and excited: stunned that God would have so much trust in me, and I’m excited to see what God’s grace can do.”
The new bishop also took time to thank all of his predecessors for their influence and example to him. In particular, he mentioned the previous Bishop of Pittsburgh and current Archbishop of Washington D.C. Donald Wuerl, as his mentor and an example of being a servant leader.
Upon hearing of Zubik’s appointment, Archbishop Wuerl wrote, “Personally, I rejoice with the news of this appointment. I am very pleased for what it will mean to the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Bishop Zubik knows, loves and has served the Church of Pittsburgh, and has walked with it through all of its many moments of challenge and development for the past 20 years. My prayer is that God will bless him and his ministry and of course the Church of Pittsburgh.”
The newly appointed bishop says that his plans for his new diocese are to continue to try and involve the laity in leadership, foster good relationships with people of other faiths, and to continue to strengthen the already strong Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Bishop Zubik closed the press conference by saying, “I beg for your prayers, patience, and your participation in the sacred service of leadership. I ask you to walk with me toward the kingdom.” He also invoked the protection of Mary the Mother of Jesus and offered God’s blessing to those gathered—“May God bless us always and in all ways.”
Bishop Zubik will be installed as Bishop of Pittsburgh at Saint Paul Cathedral, Oakland, on September 28, 2007, which he noted is the 49th anniversary of the late Pope John Paul II’s ordination as a bishop.