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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
New bishop for Hexham and Newcastle
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¬†Pope John Paul II has appointed Canon Kevin Dunn as the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The Bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB who ≠ having reached his 75th birthday ≠ is retiring after 12 years. Bishop-elect Dunn will be the 12th bishop of the diocese since it was established as the diocese of Hexham in 1850. The name was changed to 'Hexham and Newcastle' in 1861. On hearing of his appointment, which was announced at the Vatican today, Bishop-elect Dunn said: "I am still stunned and very surprised to be asked to be the next bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. I am conscious of my need of God's help and I ask your prayers for the future. "I have accepted the request of the Holy Father and I am confident that, with the prayers and support of the priests, religious and people of the diocese, we can grow in communion and mission with God and each other." Canon Dunn added: "I look forward to living in the North-East, to discover the rich traditions of the diocese, especially the inheritance of the Northern Saints." The outgoing bishop, Rt Rev Ambrose Griffiths OSB, said: "I am delighted to welcome Canon Dunn as the new bishop-elect of this diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. I know that he will receive a very warm welcome from the people and priests of the diocese and from our fellow Christians and members of others faiths. "It has been a joy and a privilege to serve the priests and people of this diocese for the last 12 years. However, I am sure it is now time for a new and younger man to take over and bring his own insights and ideas which will enrich the life of the diocese." Bishop Griffiths added: "The new bishop will discover, as I have done, what a wonderful part of England this is and he will be supported by the warmth and openness of its people. "He will be welcomed into the very friendly group of Christian Church leaders and by the equally-friendly group of Leaders of other Faiths. All this will help him very quickly to feel at home and dispel his initial nervousness as he realises how fortunate he is." Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said: "I warmly welcome the Holy Father's appointment of Canon Dunn as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. I look forward to welcoming him as a member of the Bishops' Conference. At the same time I would like to acknowledge Bishop Ambrose Griffiths' great dedication as a pastor and diocesan Bishop these past 12 years. On behalf of my fellow bishops I thank him warmly for his personal contribution to the life of the Church in England and Wales and the work of the Bishops' Conference, especially in the fields of evangelisation and ecumenism to which he has been so wholeheartedly committed. We wish him a very happy retirement." Kevin Dunn was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, on July 9, 1950. He studied for the priesthood at Oscott College, Birmingham, and was ordained on January 17, 1976. After serving as curate at St Patrick's, Walsall, and chaplain to Stuart Bathurst High School, he was chaplain to the Caribbean community in the Archdiocese of Birmingham from 1980 to 1987. After two years as parish priest in Stoke-on-Trent and chaplain to North Staffordshire Hospital and University, he underwent further studies at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome and was awarded a doctorate in Canon Law in 1991. Upon his return to England in 1991, he worked as a parish priest in Stafford, Episcopal Vicar for religious and lecturer in canon law at Oscott College until 2001. Since 2001, he has been Episcopal Vicar for the deaneries of Wolverhampton, Walsall, the Black Country and Worcestershire and a member of the Archbishop's Council, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Source: CCS
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