Lexington Gets a New Bishop; San Francisco an Auxiliary

Pope Appoints Monsignor from Allentown to Post in Kentucky

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WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 13, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appointed Monsignor Ronald Gainer, judicial vicar of the Allentown Diocese, as bishop of Lexington. He succeeds Bishop J. Kendrick Williams, who quit in June.

The Pope also named Monsignor Ignatius Wang, chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese.

Bishop-elect Wang, 68, who is also director of the archdiocesan Society for the Propagation of the Faith, and of the Chinese apostolate, is believed to be the first person born in China to be named to the U.S. hierarchy.

His parents were relatives of a Manchurian emperor, a ruler of the last Chinese dynasty. His family counts 12 Catholic generations.

Ignatius Wang carried out his seminar studies in Hong Kong and was ordained a priest on July 4, 1959, the Misna missionary agency reported.

He was immediately sent to Rome where he completed his studies for a doctorate in canon law at the Gregorian University. Unable to return to China, he went to work as parish priest and then vicar general in the Diocese of St. George’s in Grenada, in the Antilles.

He moved to San Francisco in 1974, to help his widowed sister, who was sick at the time. He worked in the archdiocesan court and as assistant parish priest in several churches. He was a parish priest for 10 years. In 1981, he was nominated coordinator of the mission among the Chinese of the Archdiocese. Since 1994 he has been director of Propagation of the Faith and in 1998 was appointed counselor of the archdiocese.

Ronald Gainer was born on Aug. 24, 1947, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary near Philadelphia, where he received a master’s of divinity. He did graduate study at the Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a degree in canon law. He was ordained a priest of the Allentown Diocese on May 19, 1973.

He has held numerous pastoral and administrative positions in the Allentown Diocese.

The Diocese of Lexington in Kentucky, established in 1988, has 47,000 Catholics in a total population of 1.4 million.

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