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Pope Francis names new auxiliary bishop for Diocese of Pittsburgh

Bishop-elect Mark A. Eckman / Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Vatican City, Nov 5, 2021 / 09:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis on Friday named a new auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The pope appointed Fr. Mark A. Eckman to the post on Nov. 5, assigning him the titular see of Sitifi.

Eckman is the pastor of Resurrection Parish in Pittsburgh.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh, led by Bishop David A. Zubik since 2007, covers 3,754 square miles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving 625,490 Catholics out of a total population of 1,893,567 people.

Zubik said: “The Holy Father’s appointment is a gift to our diocese and brings great joy to me. Bishop-elect Eckman is a born and raised Pittsburgher who has a deep devotion to Jesus and the people of this region.”

“He has shown himself to be a caring, compassionate, responsible, skilled pastor of the Church. Please join me and his brother priests in prayer asking Jesus to fill his heart as he humbly takes on this new role.”

The 62-year-old bishop-elect said that he was honored by the appointment.

“I have chosen as my episcopal motto: ‘To serve in faith and charity.’ I hope to faithfully live out this motto as I continue to minister in the Diocese of Pittsburgh,” he said.

Mark A. Eckman was born on Feb. 9, 1959, in Pittsburgh. He studied for the priesthood at the city’s St. Paul Seminary.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1981 and a Master of Divinity from Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe in 1984.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1985. Following his ordination, he served in a variety of roles, including as a parochial vicar, high school chaplain, administrator of two parishes, pastor of two parishes, and episcopal vicar for clergy personnel.

He also served as a member of several boards, including the priest council, the permanent diaconate formation board, and the seminary admissions board.

He served on the National Advisory Board for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2010 to 2014.

As an auxiliary bishop, Eckman will serve alongside the 64-year-old Bishop William Waltersheid, an auxiliary since 2011, and Bishop William Winter, a 91-year-old retired auxiliary who continues to help Bishop Zubik with pastoral needs.

Eckman said: “I only ever wanted to be a parish priest. I am also grateful to all the faithful in the assignments that I have had the privilege to serve.”

“Please be assured of my continued prayers for you, that as we build God’s Kingdom here on earth, we may one day share eternal life with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven.”

His episcopal ordination will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2022, at Pittsburgh’s Saint Paul Cathedral.

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