Miami Priest Named Bishop of Orlando

By Jaweed Kaleem
Miami Herald
October 23, 2010

Miami auxiliary bishop John Noonan, pictured here on May 30, 2010, has been named bishop of Orlando.

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named Miami auxiliary bishop John Noonan as the new Bishop of Orlando.

Noonan's new position is effective immediately, but he will be formally installed as the head Central Florida's 800,000-member Roman Catholic church on Dec. 16. He succeeds Thomas Wenski, who left his post as Bishop of Orlando, held since 2004, when he was installed in June as the Archbishop of Miami.

``I am deeply grateful to God and our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for his confidence in me and his consideration in appointing me to become your bishop. I promise to preach and to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And to the best of my ability to be a bishop and shepherd to the people,'' Noonan, 59, said in a statement.

The Irish-born priest was ordained in the Archdiocese of Miami in 1983 and has held posts at several Catholic churches and institutions in South Florida, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary church in Pompano Beach, St. Rose of Lima church in Miami Shores, Msgr. Edward Pace High School and St. Brendan High School. In 1996, he was appointed rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary in Westchester and 2005, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Miami.

Noonan studied for the priesthood at St. John Vianney and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. He has a master's degree in education from Boston College and speaks Spanish.

``The Holy Father has chosen for the Diocese of Orlando an energetic shepherd who brings to the priests and people of Central Florida many talents and gifts. The church of Miami, of course, will miss him -- and, in the short time that I have been back in Miami as its new Archbishop, Bishop Noonan was a good friend and a valuable collaborator of mine,'' Wenski said in a statement. ``While I, too, will miss his assistance in Miami, I am very happy for Orlando. With Bishop Noonan to lead them, the Catholics of Central Florida will continue to witness to the hope that does not disappoint, Jesus Christ.''

Noonan is the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, which was established in 1968 and includes 80 parishes, 12 missions and 37 schools in nine counties.



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