On Jan. 14, Pope Benedict XVI appointed two U.S. priests to receive consecration as bishops for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in Pennsylvania, and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in Indiana.
Altoona-Johnstown's new bishop will be Msgr. Mark L. Bartchak, previously a diocesan priest and judicial vicar in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania bishop-elect will replace retiring Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, who submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict in August of 2010 upon reaching his 75th birthday.
Bishop Adamec has played a role in the Church's life both locally and internationally, in five decades as a priest and 23 years as a bishop. He was honored by Pope John Paul II for his work on behalf of the Church in Eastern Europe –particularly his family's home country of Slovakia– during the 1980s.
His successor, Bishop-elect Bartchak, 55, is a past president of the Canon Law Society of America. His episcopal consecration will take place on April 19.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will receive its first auxiliary bishop in just over 75 years, with the episcopal consecration of Fr. Christopher J. Coyne, currently a pastor in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Fr. Coyne, 52, served as a media spokesman for the archdiocese during a difficult period that included revelations of sexual abuse by clergy as well as parish closings. He became the pastor of St. Margaret Mary parish in Westwood, Massachusetts in 2006.
The auxiliary bishop-elect will receive his episcopal consecration in Indianapolis on March 2.