Vatican City, May 15, 2017 / 04:11 am
On Monday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has named parish priest Fr. Bernard (Ned) Shlesinger of Raleigh, who was an Air Force pilot before entering seminary, as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Ga.
Born Dec. 17, 1960, in Washington D.C., Schlesinger obtained the rank of "captain" piloting large aircrafts – specifically C-130 Hercules planes – before entering the seminary in 1990.
He flew the aircraft while stationed at Pope AFB, in Fayetteville, NC. The C-130 model is a four-engine turboprop military transport plane designed and built by Lockheed Martin, and is able to manage take-offs and landings from ungroomed runways.
In a statement coinciding with the Vatican's May 15 announcement of the appointment, Atlanta's Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory voiced his thanks to Pope Francis for naming a new auxiliary, and offered Shlesinger a warm welcome.