By Christie L. Chicoine

CS&T Staff Writer

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Msgr. John J. McIntyre, 46, an auxiliary bishop of the Philadelphia Archdiocese and has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis, 76.

Cardinal Justin Rigali made the announcements at a 10 a.m. press conference Tuesday, June 8, at the Archdiocesan Office Center in Center City Philadelphia.

The changes were announced the same day in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect McIntyre has served as secretary to Cardinal Justin Rigali since 2003. As required by canon law, Bishop Maginnis officially tendered his resignation at age 75.

Two weeks before his 47th birthday, Bishop-elect McIntyre will be ordained a bishop at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, the Solemnity of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. {{more}}

“With gratitude to God and with reliance upon His mercy, I accept and I rejoice in my appointment as an auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. For the last 18 years, I have had the singular privilege of being a Catholic priest,” Bishop-elect McIntyre said in remarks during the press conference.(Bishop-elect McIntyre’s remarks)

“What a joy to know the will of God in your life and to be given the grace to follow it. What a joy for me to know the will of God for me is a share in the priesthood of His Son Jesus Christ. I can think of no greater honor than celebrating Mass each morning and being about the many and varied responsibilities that make up the day of a priest.”

Bishop-elect McIntyre said he was speechless after being informed of the appointment in a private meeting with Cardinal Rigali May 11 at a convocation for priests of the Philadelphia Archdiocese in Hershey, Pa.

Cardinal Rigali described Bishop-elect McIntyre as “a priest of great compassion and kindness, humility and tranquility,” one who “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.”

Bishop-elect McIntyre, one of three sons of Thomas and Blanche (Ferrero) McIntyre, is a native of Philadelphia. The McIntyres were members of St. Michael of the Saints Parish in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Rhawnhurst.

Bishop-elect McIntyre choked up at the press conference when he spoke about his gratitude to his parents who, along with other family members, were present. “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. Thank you Mom and Dad.”

He graduated from St. Basil Elementary School of the Ukrainian Archeparchy in Philadelphia. After attending Father Judge High School for Boys for three years, he decided to study for the Redemptorist order. He attended St. Mary’s High School Seminary in the Pennsylvania Diocese of Erie and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Alphonsus College Seminary in Suffield, Conn., in 1986. He served as a lay teacher at St. Benedict School in Philadelphia before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood to study for the diocesan priesthood of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. There, he earned a master’s of spaninty degree in 1991.

He was ordained a priest May 16, 1992, by now-Archbishop Emeritus Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua.

His first assignment, from 1992 to 1995, was parochial vicar of St. Dominic Parish in Philadelphia. From 1995 to 1999 he was assigned as a parochial vicar of St. Mark Parish in Bristol, Bucks County.

He also served as a chaplain to the Sisters of Mercy at the Motherhouse in Merion from 1999 to 20003.

From 1999 to 2003, he served as secretary to Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and, since 2003, to Cardinal Rigali.

As secretary, Bishop-elect McIntyre said it has been his pleasure to accompany the Archbishop throughout the Archdiocese. “I’ve learned how important it is for a bishop to be present to his people, to be involved in their joys and their struggles, their hopes and their sorrows and all their desires, to make Christ present” to them, he said.

The Cardinal said it is foreseen that Bishop-elect McIntyre will assume the responsibilities of Bishop Maginnis. Among other duties, Bishop Maginnis has assisted the Cardinal in overseeing the Secretariat for Evangelization since 2004. He will continue his current duties until the ordination of Bishop-elect McIntyre.

Bishop Maginnis was ordained a priest in 1961. Among other assignments, he served for 21 years in the Department of Youth Activities, which later became the Office for Youth and Young Adults, as regional vicar for Montgomery County and as pastor of St. Colman Parish in Ardmore.

In remarks at the press conference, Bishop Maginnis expressed his thanks to God for the gift of the priesthood. “For 49 years I have had the privilege of celebrating Mass every day, whether in a parish church, Cathedral or at a Boy Scout or Girl Scout camp.”(Bishop Maginnis’ remarks)

He also acknowledged his appreciation for the privilege of administering the sacraments “to the wonderful people of this Archdiocese.”

“I am grateful to Cardinal Krol, Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Rigali for the confidence they had in me in the various ministries in which they appointed me,” he said.

He thanked all those who have prayed for him and challenged him to be a holier priest. “For this, I am eternally grateful.”

“I will, God willing, continue to be of service to the Archdiocese in any way I can,” he said.

“I thank God for all the gifts and graces He has given me. I promise to keep all of you in my prayers and ask you to do the same.”

Read more about Bishop Maginnis’ years of service to the Philadelphia Archdiocese in next week’s issue of The Catholic Standard & Times.

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or

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