Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Edgar da Cunha of Newark, New Jersey, 60, as bishop of Fall River, Massachusetts, and accepted the resignation of Bishop George Coleman, 75, from pastoral governance of that diocese.
The appointment was publicized in Washington today by Msgr. Angelo Accattino, Chargé d’Affaires at the apostolic nunciature to the United States.
Edgar da Cunha was born August 21, 1953, in Riachão de Jacuípe, Bahia, Brazil. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the Universidade Catolica do Salvador in Bahia, Brazil, and a master of divinity degree from Immaculate Conception Seminary, in Mahwah, New Jersey. He was ordained for the Society of Divine Vocations in 1982 in Newark and appointed auxiliary bishop of Newark in 2003. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.
Bishop da Cunha’s assignments after ordination included 1982-1987, Vocation Director for the Society of Divine Vocations; 1983-1986, parochial vicar, St. Nicholas, Palisades Park, New Jersey; 1986-1987, administrator, St. Nicholas, Palisades Park; 1987-1994, pastor, St. Nicholas, Palisades Park; 1994-2000, Master of Novices and Director of the House of Formation SDV, Florham Park, New Jersey; 1998-2000, Secretary of the Council of the Delegation of the Society of Divine Vocations; 2000, pastor, St. Michael’s Church, Newark, superior of the religious community and delegate for the United States of the Superior General of the Society of Divine Vocations.
The Society of Divine Vocations was founded in Italy in 1920 to foster vocations and work with the poor.
The Diocese of Fall River includes 824,551 persons, with 37%, or 302,484 of them, Catholic.