The Bishop Daniel E. Thomas was introduced today as the eighth bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo.
“Pope Francis has sent Toledo a new Danny Thomas,” Bishop Thomas, 55, said upon his introduction at a news conference today at the Catholic Center.
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“Now, since the bishop is the father of the family of faith in the diocese, I guess today this is Pope Francis' way of inviting all of you to 'Make Room for Daddy,'” referring to the popular entertainer with the same name’s 1953-65 TV show. Danny Thomas the entertainer also grew up in Toledo.
Bishop Thomas, who has been serving as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, succeeds Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, who in December 2013 was installed as archbishop of Hartford in Connecticut. The bishop will be formally installed during a Mass at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, on Oct. 22.
“I'll have to listen a lot, I'll have to learn a lot, and I'll have to speak with so many folks who I will work closely with, please God, and trust, really, in their helping me to begin my ministry here in Toledo,” the new bishop said. “I would say the one thing I want to bring is the proclamation of the gospel, to be the one who invites others --whether they are priests, deacons, consecrated religious men and women, all the Catholic laity faithful, to take up what Pope Francis has said is the joy of the gospel: to proclaim that gospel in season and out of season in our everyday lives and to make Jesus more present here in Toledo.”
Bishop Thomas was appointed to the post by Pope Francis. He had been named auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, and a monsignor in 1995 by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained a priest in 1985. Bishop Thomas was born in Philadelphia and has served in ministry in Pennsylvania and Rome.
Video of Bishop Thomas discussing vocation:
The Rev. Monte Hoyles, the diocese's chancellor, called Bishop Thomas not only the bishop of Catholics, but a bishop for all the people.
“I very much look forward to working together with all people of goodwill, whatever their profession of faith might be. So whether that is ecumenical leaders with inter-religious dialogue, with our Jewish brothers and sisters, folks who are Muslim, whoever it might be, looking forward with all people of goodwill to promote, really the will of God,” Bishop Thomas said.
As a member of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, he continues his service on the council’s committees for clergy, consecrated life and vocations, and divine worship and the ad hoc committee on catechism.
“I and the entire diocese are delighted to welcome Bishop Thomas. We ask for God’s blessings for him and for the people of the Diocese of Toledo as he assumes the office of chief shepherd of this local church. We priests especially look forward to getting to know him and working with him as his collaborators in ministry throughout our diocese,” The Rev. Charles Ritter, who has been serving as diocesan administrator during the interim period between bishops, said in a news release from the diocese.
Contact TK Barger at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6278 or on Twitter @TK_Barger.
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