.- Updated March 16 at 3:55 Mountain Time. New version includes comments from both Bishop McGrath and Bishop-designate Daly and the date of his consecration as a bishop.
Fr. Thomas Daly, a San Francisco diocesan priest and vocations director, has been chosen to become the Auxiliary Bishop of San Jose, California.
Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., Archbishop Pietro Sambi, made the Pope's choice public on March 16. The 50-year-old bishop-designate is currently the president of Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, and the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Bishop-designate Daly is a native-born Californian, and has been a priest since 1987. During the 1990s he received a Master of Education degree and taught at Marin Catholic High School. He also served as a chaplain with the San Francisco Police Department, and as a parochial vicar in several parishes.
Once consecrated as a bishop, Fr. Daly will assist 65-year-old Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, who became head of the diocese in 1999.
“It was with great joy that I received the news that Pope Benedict has appointed Father Daly to be the first Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose,” said Bishop McGrath, in a March 16 statement released by the Diocese of San Jose. He said the appointment “recognizes the continual growth of our local church” in recent decades.
“I look forward to working with Bishop McGrath, whom I have known since my days at the seminary and when he was in residence in my home parish of St. Brendan’s in San Francisco,” said Bishop-designate Daly. His consecration will take place May 25 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.
Bishop McGrath asked that “all our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church” would “join us in praying for him and for the gifts and graces he will need to carry out his apostolic office.”
In a recent message to the faithful of his diocese, Bishop McGrath said that future plans for the diocese would emphasize the areas of liturgy and Catholic education, as “new priorities” in a decade-long strategy for renewing the local church.
The appointment comes just days before the Diocese of San Jose's 30th anniversary celebration. Although the region's Catholic history dates back to the 18th century, San Jose was established as a diocese relatively recently – on March 18, 1981, the vigil of the feast of St. Joseph. Bishop McGrath will celebrate the anniversary with a Mass on March 19, at the Cathedral Basilica.