Pope Benedict XVI Selects New Bishop for Diocese of Orlando

Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment of the Most Reverend John Noonan as bishop of the Diocese of Orlando effective October 23, 2010.

Bishop Noonan was ordained to the episcopacy on August 24, 2005 at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Miami and had served as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Miami since that time. He was ordained to the priesthood on September 23, 1983 for the Archdiocese of Miami and has served in the roles of parochial vicar, youth ministry chaplain, supervising principal, director of priestly life and ministry and rector/president of St. John Vianney College Seminary.

“Vatican II calls Bishops to be fathers and pastors to the people.  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,” said Bishop Noonan. “I ask that my brother priests and all of God’s people pray for me as I begin my new ministry among you.”

Bishop Noonan succeeds Most Reverend Thomas Wenski who led the Diocese of Orlando between November 13, 2004 and June 1, 2010.

Father Richard Walsh, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, has served as diocesan administrator since Archbishop Wenski’s departure.

“Called forth by the Spirit, I am humbled to serve the faith-filled people of the Diocese of Orlando as diocesan administrator,” said Father Richard Walsh.  “Now, we are joyful to know of the appointment of Bishop Noonan as our shepherd and with him, we will labor in the vineyard of the Lord to continue to build the Kingdom of God on earth.”

Bishop Noonan’s installation will be on December 16 at 2:00 p.m.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, upon hearing the news, proclaimed, “I congratulate Bishop John Noonan on his appointment as the fifth bishop of Orlando, a wonderful Diocese of faith filled people who are truly “Alive in Christ”. 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.  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 will serve as the Diocese of Orlando’s 5th bishop. The Diocese of Orlando was established on June 18, 1968 by papal decree. The Diocese of Orlando is comprised of 80 parishes and 12 missions that serve over 800,000 Catholics through the administration of the Sacraments, the sharing of the Word of God and through the many and varied diocesan ministries.

Through the efforts of dedicated clergy, religious women and members of Christ’s faithful, the ministry of this Diocese touches every city in nine counties of Central Florida, encompassing 9,611.11 square miles. Thirty seven schools, and three entities, Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Bishop Grady Villas and San Pedro Spiritual Development Center are also a vital part of the Diocese of Orlando.