Pope Francis has named Rev. Mark Eckman as an auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh. The appointment was announced Friday, Nov. 5 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Father Eckman’s ordination as bishop is scheduled for Tues. Jan. 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.
“The Holy Father’s appointment is a gift to our diocese and brings great joy to me,” said Bishop David Zubik. “Bishop-elect Eckman is a born and raised Pittsburgher who has a deep devotion to Jesus and the people of this region.
“He has shown himself to be a caring, compassionate, responsible, skilled pastor of the Church. Please join me and his brother priests in prayer asking Jesus to fill his heart as he humbly takes on this new role.”
“I am honored that the Holy Father has placed such trust and confidence in me and I will serve wherever needed,” Bishop-elect Eckman said. “I have chosen as my episcopal motto, ‘To serve in faith and charity.’ I hope to faithfully live out this motto as I continue to minister in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.”
Bishop-elect Eckman, 62, remains as pastor of Resurrection Parish in Bethel Park/Upper St. Clair. Since his priestly ordination in 1985, he has served as parochial vicar, high school chaplain, administrator of two parishes, pastor of two parishes, and episcopal vicar for clergy personnel.
“I only ever wanted to be a parish priest,” Bishop-elect Eckman said. “I am also grateful to all the faithful in the assignments that I have had the privilege to serve. Please be assured of my continued prayers for you, that as we build God’s Kingdom here on earth, we may one day share eternal life with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven.”
An auxiliary bishop is assigned to assist the diocesan bishop with the pastoral and administrative needs of a diocese. In the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop William Waltersheid has served as an auxiliary bishop since 2011. Bishop William Winter was appointed auxiliary bishop in 1989. Now retired, he continues to assists Bishop Zubik with pastoral needs.
Photo by Chip Kelsch
Watch the full news conference below.