Two new bishops for Westminster

 Pope John Paul II has appointed two new Auxiliary Bishops for the Diocese of Westminster, the Catholic Media Office announced this morning. In their statement, the CMO said the new Auxiliary Bishops are: Monsignor Arthur Roche and Monsignor George Stack. Mgr Roche has been General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales since 1996, and Mgr Stack has been Administrator of Westminster Cathedral since 1993. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, said: "I am delighted that two such excellent priests have been appointed as Auxiliary Bishops. They will be of great assistance to me and to the Diocese of Westminster." Mgr Roche said: "I am very honoured and delighted to have been asked by the Holy Father to share in the episcopal ministry of the Cardinal in the Diocese of Westminster where, for five years, I have received such kind hospitality. I look forward to getting to know the priests, religious and people of the Diocese and to being of whatever service I can in my ministry as Auxiliary Bishop." Mgr Stack said: "I feel overwhelmed and privileged at being appointed by the Holy Father to assist the Cardinal and serve the Diocese of Westminster as Auxiliary Bishop. In undertaking this ministry, I rededicate myself to the service of God and his people at this significant time in the life of the Church." Mgr Roche and Mgr Stack will be ordained bishops at Westminster Cathedral on 10 May 2001, at 12noon. Mgr Arthur Roche was born on 6 March 1950 in Batley, West Yorkshire. He attended St Joseph's School in Batley Carr, St John Fisher's in Dewsbury and Christleton Hall in Chester, before going to the English College, Valladolid, in 1969, where he gained a bachelor of theology degree (STB). Fr Roche was ordained on 19 July 1975 at St Joseph's Church in Batley Carr, by the Bishop of Leeds, Bishop Gordon Wheeler. He was assistant priest at Holy Rood, Barnsley, before becoming Bishop Wheeler's secretary in 1977. He was Vice-Chancellor of the diocese from 1979 to 1989, and the coordinator of the papal visit to York in 1982. In 1982, Fr Roche was appointed assistant priest at St Anne's Cathedral in Leeds, and, in 1989, parish priest at St Wilfrid's, Leeds. From 1986 to 1991, he was also the diocesan financial administrator. In 1991, Fr Roche studied at the Venerable English College in Rome, and gained a licence in theology (STL), from the Pontifical Gregorian University. The following year he was appointed Spiritual Director at the Venerable English College. In 1996, before finishing his term of office as Spiritual Director, he was appointed General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and also a prelate of honour with the title Monsignor. Mgr Roche's term as General Secretary is completed on 27 April 2001. Mgr George Stack was born on 9 May 1946 in Cork, Ireland. He attended St Aloysius' Secondary School, Highgate, before studying for the priesthood at St Edmund's College, Ware, from 1966 to 1972. Fr Stack was ordained on 21 May 1972 at St Mary & St Joseph Church in Poplar by Bishop Victor Guazzelli, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster. From 1971 to 1975 he was deacon and then assistant priest at Our Lady & St Joseph, Hanwell. From 1972 he was also chaplain to St Bernard's Hospital, Southall (until 1975), and chaplain to Cardinal Wiseman School, Greenford (until 1976). From 1974 to 1977 he undertook further studies at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, and gained a Bachelor of Education degree. He then became a member of the Westminster Religious Education Centre. In 1977, Fr Stack was appointed assistant priest at St Paul the Apostle, Wood Green, and in 1983, parish priest at Our Lady Help of Christians, Kentish Town. In 1990, he was appointed Vicar General for Clergy in the Westminster Diocese, and was based at Archbishop's House. He became Administrator of Westminster Cathedral in 1993, and was also appointed a prelate of honour with the title Monsignor. To check the latest news from the CMO visit their website through our Links pages under: 'Catholic Church in England and Wales.'

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