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Vice Rector Father Battersby to be Ordained Detroit Auxiliary Bishop

by MOSAIC Editorial Team

Fr. Gerard Battersby, 56, vice rector and dean of formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, has been named by Pope Francis the twenty-ninth auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Archbishop Allen Vigneron introduced Bishop-designate Battersby to the public and the news media at a 10:30 AM news conference, November 23, at the archdiocesan chancery office in downtown Detroit.

At the same event, Archbishop Vigneron announced Pope Francis's appointment of Fr. Robert Fisher, 57, as the thirtieth auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese. Bishop-designate Fisher is rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak. He is also an alumnus of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, earning an undergraduate degree in 1987 and a Master of Divinity degree in 1992.

Bishop-designate Battersby is an alumnus, as well. He graduated in 1998 with a Master of Divinity degree after earning an undergraduate degree at the seminary in 1994. He was awarded a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Sacred Heart in 2009.

For many years now, Bishop-designate Battersby has been serving faithfully and generously here at the seminary, says Msgr. Todd Lajiness, Sacred Heart's rector. I am delighted with the news and recognize in Bishop-designate Battersby a man of deep faith, and as vice rector, a holy spiritual father to our seminarians.

After his ordination to the priesthood in 1998, Bishop-designate Battersby served as associate pastor of three archdiocesan parishes until Cardinal Adam Maida assigned him to Sacred Heart as director of graduate seminarians in 2007. Archbishop Vigneron appointed him vice rector of the seminary in 2011. Bishop-designate Battersby has been pastor since 2015 of St. Mary of Redford Parish in Detroit.

I would like to thank God and Pope Francis for this inestimable blessing, Bishop-designate Battersby says. It is with joy and confidence in Jesus Christ that I accepted the Holy Father's invitation to be a co-worker of his in the apostolic ministry.

I would also like to thank Archbishop Allen Vigneron, continues the new bishop-designate. He has been truly a good shepherd and a sterling exemplar to me.

Monsignor Lajiness is asking the entire Sacred Heart community, including alumni and benefactors, to pray for Bishop-designate Battersby as he begins this new journey of service to the archdiocese and the universal Church. I am confident that his first yes' as a disciple of Christ, his yes' to be a priest, and now his yes' to be a bishop comes from a loving heart intimately united to the Lord's. I ask that we all accompany him now with our own prayers.

The episcopal ordination Mass for Bishops-designate Battersby and Fisher will be celebrated on January 25, 2017, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. The men will join Auxiliary Bishops Donald Hanchon and Arturo Cepeda, and retired Auxiliary Bishops Francis Reiss and Thomas Gumbleton, as they assist Archbishop Vigneron in the spiritual care of the 1.3 million Catholics of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Says Archbishop Vigneron, Both of these well-loved and respected new bishops bring a rich set of gifts and talents to the roles they will play in leading our community in our mission to share the Good News of Jesus.

MOSAIC Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.