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Pope Names Bishop Gainer of Lexington as New Bishop of Harrisburg, Names Fresno Vicar General as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento

January 24, 2014
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The pope also named Msgr. Myron J. Cotta, vicar general of the Diocese of Fresno, California, as auxiliary bishop of Sacramento, California.

The appointments were publicized in Washington, January 24, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Gainer was born August 24, 1947, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1969 and master of divinity degree in 1973. He received a licentiate degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1986. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, on May 19, 1973. He was named a prelate of honor (monsignor) to Pope John Paul II on August 20, 1991.

He was named second bishop of Lexington on December 13, 2002, and ordained a bishop on February 22, 2003. In Harrisburg, he succeeds the late Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who died May 2, 2013.

The Diocese of Harrisburg includes 7,660 square miles in Pennsylvania and has a population of 2,236,085 of whom 234,822, or 11 percent, are Catholic.

Myron Joseph Cotta was born March 21, 1953, in Dos Palos, California. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, 1980-1987, receiving a bachelor’s degree and master of divinity degree. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Fresno on September 12, 1987. He was named a chaplain to his holiness (monsignor) in 2002 and a prelate of honor in 2009. He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Bishop-elect Cotta served several parishes after ordination. Since 1996, he has served on the board of trustees, priests’ retirement board and personnel board. Since 1999, his duties have included vicar general, board of consultors, moderator of the curia, vicar for clergy, director of continuing formation of the clergy, director of the Propagation of the Faith, director of pastoral support of the priests sensitive claims board, member of the diocesan finance council, and supervisor of the safe environment program.

The Diocese of Sacramento includes 42,597 square miles in California and has a population of 3,526,143 of whom 980,171, or 28 percent, are Catholic.
Keywords: Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Diocese of Sacramento, California, Diocese of Fresno, California, Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop-elect Myron J. Cotta, auxiliary, Pope Francis, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States, bishop appointment

Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206


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