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June 22, 2010


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, announced at a news conference at the Archdiocesan Office Center in Philadelphia this morning that Pope Benedict XVI has named Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, as the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg ( Cardinal Rigali also announced that the Holy Father has appointed Monsignor Michael J. Fitzgerald as Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia.

Bishop McFadden, 63, is a native of Philadelphia. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Parish School and Saint Thomas More High School for Boys. Following graduation from St. Joseph's University, he became a teacher at West Catholic High School for Boys where he also coached basketball. He then attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, PA and was ordained a priest in 1981. He served as Administrative Secretary to Cardinal John Krol from 1982 to 1993. He was ordained a bishop in 2004 assisting Cardinal Rigali with the pastoral and administrative care of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In making the announcement regarding Bishop McFadden's appointment, Cardinal Rigali said, "This appointment demonstrates that the Holy Father has confidence that Bishop McFadden will be a compassionate and wise shepherd for the people of Harrisburg. He is a skillful leader with vision and a faith-filled priest who serves joyfully in Jesus' name. Devoted to Mary our Mother, Bishop McFadden will lead the people of Harrisburg with great care and concern for their spiritual well-being."

Bishop McFadden will be installed on August 18, 2010 in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Harrisburg. At a news conference in Harrisburg this morning, he told reporters, "I am especially happy to have been named the new Bishop of Harrisburg during the Marian Year that Bishop Rhoades convoked last October and which continues until this coming October. When I was named Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia six years ago, I took as my Episcopal motto, "Mary the Model, Jesus the Center." I strongly urge the Catholic community here in Harrisburg to embrace Mary the Mother of Jesus as the model for being open to and doing the Lord's will in one's daily life."

Bishop-elect Fitzgerald, 62, was born in Montclair, New Jersey. His family moved to Southwest Philadelphia and then to King of Prussia, Montgomery County. He attended Saint Clement Parish School in Philadelphia, Saint Augustine Parish School in Bridgeport and Bishop Kenrick High School in Norristown. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained in 1980. He holds a B.A. from Temple University and a law degree from Villanova University. Bishop-elect Fitzgerald earned a Licentiate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America and a doctorate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University, Rome. He has served as Vice-Rector of St. Charles Seminary and Director of the Office for Legal Services. He is currently Judicial Vicar. In making the announcement regarding Bishop-elect Fitzgerald, Cardinal Rigali said, "He is an exemplary priest with a great love for the Church. I am grateful for his constant efforts to promote vocations to the diocesan priesthood. For 14 years he has served as Chaplain to the Serra Club of Philadelphia, which promotes priestly vocations."

On June 8, 2010, Cardinal Rigali announced the appointment by the Holy Father of Monsignor John McIntyre as an Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. The Cardinal will ordain both Bishop-elect McIntyre and Bishop-elect Fitzgerald to the episcopacy on the same day, August 6, 2010, the Solemnity of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. The Ordination will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

In his remarks at the news conference in Philadelphia, Bishop-elect Fitzgerald said, "In accepting this nomination I am conscious of the great responsibility that has been entrusted to me but I am even more aware of the providence of Almighty God in calling me to the priesthood and sustaining me happily in the priesthood these past thirty years. It is in that Providence that I continue to place my trust as I answer a new call of the Church to serve the People of God as a bishop."

Bishop-elect Fitzgerald Biographical Information:
Michael Joseph Fitzgerald is one of nine children born to Dorothy (Bogart) and the late Edwin Michael Fitzgerald in Montclair, New Jersey on May 23, 1948. His family moved to Southwest Philadelphia and then to King of Prussia, Montgomery County. He attended St. Clement Parish School in Philadelphia, St. Augustine Parish School in Bridgeport and Bishop Kenrick High School in Norristown.

He received his Bachelor of Arts from Temple University in 1970 and his law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1973. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1980 and was ordained a priest in May 1980.

Father Fitzgerald served as parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Philadelphia, from 1980 to 1981, and as parochial vicar at St. Callistus Parish, Philadelphia, from 1981 to 1982. He served as Judge for the Metropolitan Tribunal from October 1982 until June 1987. Father Fitzgerald received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of American in 1989 and a Doctorate in Canon Law from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1991. Father Fitzgerald was the founding director of the Office for Legal Services for the Archdiocese, now the Office of General Counsel, serving in this position from 1991 until 2004.

He served as Vice-Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary from 2004 until 2007. Since 2007 he has served as Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In 2003, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of "Monsignor."

Bishop-elect Fitzgerald is a member of the Canon Law Society of America; Adjunct Faculty, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; Chaplain, Serra Club of Philadelphia, and Confessor, Holy Spirit of Adoration Sisters (Pink Sisters).

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Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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