MOST REV. JOSEPH P. McFADDEN
10th Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
ECCE SACERDOS MAGNUS
ad multos annos
Ecclesiastical rumor has it that Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be named the 10th bishop of Harrisburg by Pope Benedict XVI on June 22. His Excellency replaces Bishop Kevin Rhoades who was transferred to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend January 13, 2010.
Born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, the Most Rev. Joseph McFadden attended Saint Joseph's University and was a high school teacher and basketball coach before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, from where he obtained his M. Div. He was ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence John Cardinal Krol on May 16, 1981, and served as private secretary to Cardinal Krol for eleven years. He served as president of Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield from 1993 to 2001, whence he became pastor of St. Joseph Church in Downingtown.
On June 28, 2004, McFadden was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Titular Bishop of Horreomargum by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 28, 2004 from Justin Cardinal Rigali, with Bishops Robert Maginnis and Michael Burbidge serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.
WELCOME TO THE CAPITAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH, YOUR EXCELLENCY
Word from mother Philadelphia is that the new bishop will follow in the tradition of his predecessor who was well loved among the faithful throughout the diocese. While he will be sadly missed in the Metropolitan See, he will be warmly welcome to his new home in the Capital Region (a.k.a. Central Pennsylvania)
Bishop Rhoades' predecessor, Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo (who succeeded William Cardinal Keeler), spoke of his first ad limina visit to the Eternal City. Pope John Paul the Great met with the Bishops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and each Ordinary spent a few minutes with the Pontiff. When Bishop Dattilo got his turn, JP2 asked Bishop Dattilo to show the Holy Father on a map of the Commonwealth where the Diocese of Harrisburg was located. Pointing to the central region, the Bishop mentioned that Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. "Capital?" "Harrisburg?" "Not Philadelphia?" replied the Pope. [Harrisburg has 250,000 Catholics, about 12% of the population while the Archdiocsese of Philadelphia has 1.5 million, about 40%] Bishop Dattilo quickly responded "well, Your Holiness, they think and act like they're the capital at times, but the governor and legislature are still in Harrisburg." Then the familiar smile appeared on the Pontiff's face.