Pope names Bishop-elect John McIntyre as Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

By Matthew Gambino
CS&T Director and General Manager

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis and named Msgr. John J. McIntyre an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese, Cardinal Justin Rigali announced in a news conference at the Archdiocesan Office Center June 8.{{more}}

Bishop Maginnis, 76 and ordained a bishop in 1996 by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, was required by Church law to submit his resignation last year at 75.

He said he will remain active in ministry especially presiding at parish confirmations as needed, and “continuing to work in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in any capacity that Cardinal Rigali would wish me to be involved.” (Bishop Maginnis’ remarks)

The bishop said he was looking forward to reading and studying more in retirement from the demands of administering the Secretariat for Eevangelization in the Archdiocese, and from the numerous visits to the 62 parishes of his episcopal region in Chester and Delaware Counties.

Bishop-elect McIntyre’s voice broke with strong emotion as he thanked God for his Catholic faith, the Pope for his call to be bishop, the Cardinal for his confidence and support and especially the love and example of his parents, Tom and Blanche McIntyre.

“I have no doubt that whatever good or virtue may exist in me, it is there due to the persistent grace of God and the example and efforts of my parents,” said Bishop-elect McIntyre. “Thank you Mom and Dad.” (Bishop-elect McIntyre’s remarks)

Bishop-elect McIntyre was ordained a priest in 1992 and ministered in two parish assignments for the next seven years, at St. Dominic in Northeast Philadelphia and St. Mark in Bristol. In 1999 he served first as secretary to Cardinal Bevilacqua then to Cardinal Rigali. He was named a monsignor (chaplain of his holiness) in 2003 and prelate of honor in 2005.

In response to a question following his prepared remarks, the bishop-elect said he learned much from accompanying Cardinal Rigali on his visits to parishes in the Archdiocese. “I am humbled by the faith of the people of God, their prayer, their reverence, their devotion. I see the care of the shepherd of that flock (Cardinal Rigali). He overschedules himself – I guess that’s my fault – he goes out of his way for them.”

Bishop-elect McIntyre said he has learned by this example how “a bishop should be present to the people, to make Christ present to the people.”

He also thanked Bishop Maginnis for his service as a priest and bishop,, aand related an inside story.

“At a recent meeting,” said Bishop-elect McIntyre, “a few of the priests present decided to chide and tease Bishop Maginnis about the timing of the acceptance of his resignation by Pope Benedict XVI by chanting to him, “Four more years!” While I know that Bishop Maginnis would be of service in any way he could, I don’t think he was particularly amused.”

Cardinal Rigali said that at this time Bishop Maginnis would continue to administer the Evangelization Secretariat until Aug. 6, the date of Bishop-elect McIntyre’s ordination, after which he would assume that administrative role.

The Cardinal called his secretary “a priest of great compassion and kindness, humility and tranquility. He is self-effacing and always puts the Lord’s work first, never his own needs. He lives out his priestly ministry with quiet joy each day and I know he will bring the same zeal to his episcopal ministry.”

Videos from the press conference and more background information are available on the web site of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.