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Pope appoints auxiliary bishops for Washington, Rockville Centre


  • Pope Francis has named Msgr. Richard G. Henning, rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y., as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. Bishop-designate Henning is seen celebrating Mass at the seminary in 2015. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)
  • Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Michael W. Fisher, pictured in a June 6 photo, to be an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington. Bishop-designate Fisher, 60, has served the archdiocese as episcopal vicar for clergy and secretary for ministerial leadership since 2006. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)
  • Pope Francis has named Msgr. Richard G. Henning, rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y., as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. Bishop-designate Henning is seen delivering his homily while celebrating Mass at the seminary in 2015. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)
  • Msgr. Michael W. Fisher distributes Communion during a jubilee Mass celebrating milestone anniversaries for men and women religious in 2017 at St. Ursula Chapel in the Washington archdiocesan pastoral center. On June 8 Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Fisher an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)
  • Pope Francis has named Msgr. Richard G. Henning, rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y., as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. Bishop-designate Henning is seen in a 2012 photo. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington and an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

The new Washington auxiliary, Bishop-designate Michael W. Fisher, 60, has served the archdiocese as episcopal vicar for clergy and secretary for ministerial leadership since 2006.

The new Rockville Centre auxiliary, Bishop-designate Richard G. Henning, 53, is rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York.

The appointment of the two new bishops was announced June 8 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican nuncio to the United States.

"Msgr. Fisher brings to this ministry recognized talent and demonstrated ability," Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said in a statement. "In particular, his concern for his brother priests, dedication to priestly ministry and his kind yet directive leadership will be gifts to this local church as he serves in this new capacity."

Cardinal Wuerl announced that Bishop-designate Fisher's episcopal ordination will take place June 29, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Bishop-designate Henning's episcopal ordination for Rockville Centre will be July 24.

In Rockville Centre, Bishop John O. Barres said the diocese "rejoices" over the appointment of Bishop-designate Henning, whom he praised for, among other things, his "pastoral charity and intelligence, his commitment to a demanding life of daily prayer (and) his love for the Hispanic community and evangelization."

Since 2006 to present, Bishop-designate Fisher has served as vicar for clergy and secretary for ministerial leadership for the Washington Archdiocese. He also serves on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Pastoral Council.

Born March 3, 1958, in Baltimore, he was ordained a priest for the archdiocese June 23, 1990. He has a bachelor of science degree in accounting (1985) from the University of Maryland in College Park and has a master of divinity degree and a master's in church history (1990) from Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Born Oct. 17, 1964, in Rockville Centre, Bishop-designate Henning was ordained for the diocese May 30, 1992, at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. He has a bachelor of arts in history (1986) and a master of arts in history (1988) from St. John University in New York.

He attended the seminary where he now serves as rector. He has licentiates in biblical theology from, respectively, The Catholic University of America in Washington (2000) and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, or the Angelicum, in Rome (2007).

The Archdiocese of Washington covers about 2,100 square miles and is comprised of the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles counties in Maryland. Out of a total population of over 2.9 million, about 655,000 people, or 22 percent of the population, are Catholic.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre, which covers close to 1,200 square miles, has a Catholic population of over 1.5 million, or 52 percent of a total population of close to 2.9 million.

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