Orlando, Fla. (CNA): The Vatican announced over the weekend that Pope Benedict appointed a new shepherd for the Orlando diocese in Florida. Bishop John Noonan, who currently serves as an auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Miami, will now serve over 800,000 Catholics as the 5th bishop of the Orlando diocese.
“Vatican II calls Bishops to be fathers and pastors to the people,” Bishop Noonan said on Oct. 23 in response to the news. “I pray that with God’s help I will be able to be a good father and pastor as Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando.”
“I ask that my brother priests and all of God’s people pray for me as I begin my new ministry among you,” he added.
Bishop Noonan will succeed Archbishop Thomas Wenski who led the Diocese of Orlando from 2004 to 2010 and now heads Miami.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski congratulated Bishop Noonan on his appointment, saying 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,” the prelate noted. “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.”
Bishop Noonan was ordained to the priesthood in 1983 for the Archdiocese of Miami and has served in the roles of parochial vicar, youth ministry chaplain, supervising principal, and director of priestly life. He was ordained a bishop for the archdiocese in 2005.
The Diocese of Orlando announced that Bishop Noonan’s installation will be on December 16 at 2:00 p.m.