Pope gives New Hampshire Catholics new bishop
By Michelle Bauman
Manchester, N.H., Sep 19, 2011 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics in New Hampshire received a new bishop from Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 19. Auxiliary Bishop Peter A. Libasci of Rockville Centre, N.Y. will serve as the 10th bishop of Manchester, N.H.
“I am grateful to Almighty God who has brought me into being, to my parents who gave me life and to my family, friends and my Holy Catholic Church – all of who have sustained me to this very hour,” said Bishop Libasci.
“These include Bishop William Murphy, my diocesan bishop in Rockville Centre, my brother priests and deacons and all the lay faithful I was privileged to serve as priest and bishop in that Diocese since my priestly ordination in 1978.”
Bishop Murphy also had words of praise for Bishop Libasci.
“As priest, as pastor and as bishop, Bishop Libasci brought a deep sense of the holy to all the many pastoral efforts that have marked his tenure in this Diocese which will always be his home,” he stated.
“His brother bishops here as well as his brother priests of this Diocese are one in sending him our prayers and our congratulations, asking God, through the intercession of our Lady, to watch over him, bless and guide him in his new pastoral role as Bishop of Manchester and assuring him of our fraternal support in the years to come.”
At the same time that he named Bishop Libasci as the new bishop, the Pope also accepted the resignation of the current bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, Bishop John B. McCormack, who reached the age of retirement.
The appointment and resignation were announced on Sept. 19.
Bishop McCormack has been the bishop of Manchester since 1998. He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston in 1960 and was named auxiliary bishop of Boston in 1995.
Peter Anthony Libasci was born November 9, 1951, in Queens, N.Y. He attended seminary at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1978.
He worked as parochial vicar, administrator and pastor in several parishes before being ordained as an auxiliary bishop for the diocese in 2007. Since then, he has served as the Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
Bishop Libasci is bi-ritual, celebrating the Liturgy in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church.
Bishop Libasci will be entering a diocese with a population of 1.3 million. The Diocese of Manchester includes the entire state of New Hampshire and is home to approximately 300,000 Catholics, including 269 priests.
He will be installed as Bishop of Manchester at Saint Joseph Cathedral on Dec. 8, 2011.