WASHINGTON (January 4, 2000) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignations of Bishop Andrew J. McDonald of Little Rock and Bishop John R. McGann of Rockville Centre and has appointed the Rev. Msgr. James Peter Sartain, vicar general of the Diocese of Memphis, to be bishop of Little Rock. In Rockville Centre, Bishop James T. McHugh, who was appointed coadjutor bishop there in 1998, succeeds to the see.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced the Holy Father's actions.
James Peter Sartain was born in Memphis on June 6, 1952. He attended local Catholic elementary and secondary schools. He began preparations for the priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary, Indiana, and completed them at the North American College, Rome, where he attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Memphis on July 15, 1978.
Besides various parochial assignments, Bishop-elect Sartain served the Memphis Diocese as director of vocations, secretary for priests and deacons, vicar for temporal administration and for clergy personnel, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, and vicar general. He was serving as vicar general and pastor of St. Louis Church, Memphis, when he was appointed bishop of Little Rock.
Bishop-elect Sartain holds a licentiate in theology with a specialization in sacramental theology from the Pontifical Institute of St. Anslem.
Andrew Joseph McDonald has been Bishop of Little Rock since 1972. He was born October 24, 1923, in Savannah, and studied for the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary and University, Roland Park, Baltimore. He was ordained a priest on May 8, 1948, for the Diocese of Savannah and was serving as vicar general of that diocese when he was named bishop of Little Rock in 1972. He holds a doctorate in canon law from the Lateran University, Rome.
The Diocese of Little Rock comprises the state of Arkansas. It has a Catholic population of 89,000 out of a total population of nearly 2.5 million.
Bishop James T. McHugh was named Coadjutor Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, on December 7, 1998.
A coadjutor bishop enjoys the right of succession, which means that he becomes head of the diocese immediately upon the retirement or death of the incumbent diocesan bishop.
James Thomas McHugh was born in Orange, New Jersey, on January 3, 1932. He studied for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington, New Jersey, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark on May 25, 1957.
After parochial assignments in the archdiocese, Father McHugh served on the staff of the United States Catholic Conference from 1966 to 1978. He was named Titular Bishop of Morosbisdus and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark in 1987 and served as the Vicar for Apostolates there. In 1989 he was named Bishop of Camden.
John Raymond McGann has been Bishop of Rockville Centre since 1976. He was born in Brooklyn on December 2, 1924, studied for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, New York, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on June 3, 1950. He became a priest of the Rockville Centre Diocese when it was founded in 1957. He was named Titular Bishop of Morosbisdus and Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre in 1970 and diocesan bishop in 1976. He served as Treasurer of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference.
Rockville Centre is comprised of Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, New York. It has a Catholic population of nearly 1.4 million out of a total population of 2.9 million