Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas has been named the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Toledo in Ohio, Pope Francis announced from the Vatican today, Aug. 26.
Bishop Thomas held a press conference at 9 a.m. in Toledo where he will be installed as the ordinary, or diocesan bishop, on Oct. 22 in Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral.
A farewell event for Bishop Thomas in Philadelphia to which everyone is invited will be celebrated Oct. 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Archbishop Charles Chaput will lead a vespers evening prayer liturgy, with Bishop Thomas preaching. Afterward, all are invited to greet the bishop and enjoy light refreshments.
In his remarks at the Toledo press conference Bishop Thomas said, “I express my profound gratitude to Pope Francis for his confidence and trust in appointing me the shepherd of the Lord’s flock here in northwest Ohio. Aware that I am not worthy of the Office, I trust in God’s Holy Will.
“It is my sincere prayer that I may be a faithful, humble, holy and ardent bishop for Toledo, and that I may spend myself for love of souls in teaching, governing and sanctifying in the name of Jesus for the sake of his church,” Bishop Thomas said.
(Watch a photo gallery from Bishop Thomas’ ministry as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.)
Archbishop Charles Chaput said the appointment “demonstrates the confidence our Holy Father has in Bishop Thomas’ pastoral and administrative skills. I have worked with him closely since my arrival in Philadelphia nearly three years ago and have witnessed his wisdom, intelligence, personal warmth and keen affection for the people of God.”
“The Diocese of Toledo has been given a true gift in Bishop Thomas,” the archbishop said. “I know he will serve them well as a faithful shepherd and spiritual father. I ask that all priests, deacons, religious and laity of the archdiocese join me in extending congratulations and prayerful best wishes as he prepares to accept this assignment.”
A priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who was ordained by Cardinal John Krol in 1985 and ordained an auxiliary bishop by Cardinal Justin Rigali in 2006, Bishop Thomas, 55, is a native of the city’s Manayunk section and Holy Family Parish. He graduated in 1977 from Roman Catholic High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
Following his ordination as a priest, he studied dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was assigned to work in the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, a position in which he served for 15 years.
He then returned to Philadelphia in 2005 as pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Strafford before his ordination as bishop a year later. As an auxiliary bishop, he was responsible for administrative oversight of the Department for Media Affairs (including CatholicPhilly.com), the Office for Clergy, Office for Vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood and for Region II, a grouping of 57 parishes in Montgomery County and Northwest Philadelphia.
(See more details on Bishop Thomas’ life and priestly ministry.)
Bishop Thomas prepares to shepherd the Toledo Diocese which is home to 124 parishes and some 320,000 Catholics out of a total population of 1.46 million people. Founded in 1910, the diocese covers 19 counties in northwest Ohio between Cleveland and Detroit, Mich., an area roughly four times larger than the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
(Read more about the Diocese of Toledo.)