Gary, Ind., Nov 24, 2014 / 14:33 pm
Pope Francis has named the next bishop of Gary, Indiana: Milwaukee's Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying, who drew praise for his commitment to evangelization and to the sanctity of life.
"I am humbled, honored and excited to embrace the call to serve the Church in the Diocese of Gary, Indiana," Bishop Hying said in a Nov. 24 statement. "I am grateful to the Holy Father for his confidence and appointment, and I look forward to coming to know and love the People of God there."
Bishop Hying will become the fourth Bishop of Gary. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, 76, who has served as Bishop of Gary since June 1996. Bishop Melczek submitted his resignation upon reaching the age of 75, as is required by Church law.
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki praised Bishop Hying's work in his archdiocese.
"There's no doubt that he has earned the admiration and respect of the clergy and faithful of the archdiocese," Archbishop Listecki said, adding that Bishop Hying has "demonstrated his unceasing commitment to evangelization in southeastern Wisconsin."
"He has also worked tirelessly in support of youth and adult Catholic organizations and has been a living example and compassionate advocate for the sanctity of life."
Bishop Hying, 51, was born on Aug. 18, 1963 in West Allis, Wisconsin. He is the youngest of six brothers. He was ordained a priest for the Milwaukee archdiocese in May 1989.
He has served as assistant pastor and pastor at several Wisconsin parishes and was on the leadership team for a parish in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. bishops' conference reports. He was dean of formation at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee from 2005-2007 and was rector of the same seminary from 2007-2011.
Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Hying an auxiliary bishop for the Milwaukee archdiocese in May 2011 and he was ordained two months later, on July 20.
Bishop Hying is fluent in Spanish. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, philosophy and theology from Marquette University and a master's of divinity degree from St. Francis de Sales Seminary. He is completing his thesis for a doctorate degree in ministry from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.
"We will truly miss Bishop Hying's spiritual and administrative leadership," Archbishop Listecki said. "While we are sad to see him leave, we are grateful for his service and know that he will continue to be a blessing for the people of Gary, just as he has been a blessing for the faithful in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee."
Bishop Hying will be installed as head of the Diocese of Gary on Jan. 6, 2015.
There are about 793,000 people in the diocese's territory, which covers over 1,800 square miles in northwestern Indiana. About 185,000 of these people, some 23 percent, are Catholic.