WASHINGTON (June 7, 2006)—Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Most Reverend F. Joseph Gossman, Bishop of Raleigh for the past 31 years, and named Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Michael F. Burbidge as his successor.
The Pope named Monsignor Daniel E. Thomas, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcements.
Francis Joseph Gossman was born in Baltimore, April 1, 1930. He earned a doctorate in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, studied at the North American College in Rome, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore on December 17, 1955.
Appointed Titular Bishop of Agunto and Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, July 15, 1968, Bishop Gossman was ordained September 11, 1968. He was named Bishop of Raleigh April 2, 1975 and installed May 19, 1975.
Michael Francis Burbidge was born in Philadelphia, June 16, 1957. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, PA, Villanova University, and Immaculata University, Immaculata, PA.
Ordained a priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese May 19, 1984, he was named Titular Bishop of Cluain Iraird and Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, June 21, 2002, and ordained September 5, 2002.
Established as a diocese in 1924, the Diocese of Raleigh, in eastern North Carolina, has a Catholic population of about 188,000 in a total population of approximately 4 million.
Daniel Edward Thomas was born in Philadelphia on June 11, 1959. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 18, 1985.
He obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, in 1989, and was an official of the Congregation for Bishops from 1990 to 2005. Concurrently he served as Spiritual Director of Seminarians at the North American College.
He was named pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Strafford, PA, in 2005.