July 11, 2009 06:15 ET

Pope Benedict XVI Appoints Archdiocese of Toronto Auxiliary Bishop Richard Grecco as Bishop of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 11, 2009) - The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed Bishop Richard Grecco, presently Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto as the Bishop of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. At the same time he accepted the resignation of Bishop Vernon Fougere, Charlottetown's bishop since 1992, for reasons of health.

Upon learning of his appointment, Bishop Grecco commented:

"I am humbled by the announcement of the Holy Father and look forward with great joy to serving the people of the Diocese of Charlottetown. I send my thoughts and prayers to all those on Prince Edward Island and look forward to joining their community shortly."

In response to Pope Benedict XVI's announcement, Bishop Fougere stated:

"It has been a tremendous blessing to serve as shepherd to Prince Edward Island's Catholic community since 1992. Serving the faithful in this beautiful province has been one of the real joys of my life. I thank the Holy Father for providing me the opportunity to retire and address some personal health issues, specifically a troubling lung ailment. I ask for your continued prayers and know that all Islanders will welcome Bishop Grecco with open arms."

Bishop Richard Grecco was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. He completed his theological studies at St. Augustine's Seminary, Toronto; the Gregorian University in Rome; and in 1982 he received the degree of Doctor of Theology from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto. Ordained a priest in 1973 for the Diocese of St. Catharines, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of London in 1997. Pope John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto in 2002.

An announcement regarding the date of installation for Bishop Grecco is expected to be made in the next week. In the interim, the Holy Father has appointed Bishop Fougere as Apostolic Administrator until the installation of the 13th Bishop of Charlottetown.

The Diocese of Charlottetown has a Catholic population of 63,240 with 58 parishes and missions that extend across the province.

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