LEXINGTON, Ky. — Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Lexington has been named to head the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., and the vicar general of the Diocese of Fresno, Calif., has been named auxiliary bishop of Sacramento, Calif., the first for the diocese.
Pope Francis made the appointments Jan. 24. They were announced in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Gainer, 66, was named the second bishop of Lexington on Dec. 13, 2002, and ordained a bishop on Feb. 22, 2003. He is a native of Pottsville, Pa., in the Diocese of Allentown, and served there as a parish priest, campus minister and judicial vicar until his appointment as the second bishop of Lexington. The Diocese of Lexington, like the Diocese of Knoxville, is part of the Archdiocese of Louisville province.
Bishop Gainer succeeds Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who died May 2, 2013. Bishop Gainer will be installed on March 19.
Bishop Gainer was born Aug. 24, 1947, in Pottsville and studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 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 on May 19, 1973. He was named a prelate of honor (monsignor) to Pope John Paul II on Aug. 20, 1991.
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.
Msgr. Myron J. Cotta, 60, will become the first auxiliary bishop of the Sacramento Diocese. He is a native of Dos Palos, Calif., in the Fresno Diocese, and has been a priest since 1987.