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Pope Francis names two auxiliaries for Detroit

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope Francis named three new auxiliary bishops – two for Detroit and one for Orange, California. The appointments were announced on November 23 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

For Detroit, Pope Francis named Fr Gerard Battersby, 56, vice rector and dean of formation at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and Fr Robert Fisher, 57, pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, Royal Oak, Michigan.

The current episcopal vicar for clergy for the Diocese of Orange, Fr Timothy Freyer, 53, was named an auxiliary of that diocese.

Bishop-designate Battersby holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Detroit’s Wayne State University and a master of divinity degree from Sacred Heart seminary. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1998. He received a licentiate in sacred theology from Rome’s Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate in the same topic.

He has served in various Detroit-area parishes as well as at the seminary and as a member of the archdiocesan presbyteral council.

Bishop-designate Fisher earned a bachelor of science in management from the University of Detroit and earned his master of divinity from Sacred Heart. He pursued additional studies in theology and was ordained a priest in 1992.

He, too, served in various Detroit-area parishes and on the presbyteral council. From 1995-2000 he also served as director of vocations for the archdiocese.

Bishop-designate Freyer, who was born in Los Angeles, was ordained a priest in 1989. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from St John Seminary College in Camarillo, California. He served in various parishes and, since 2012, has served as episcopal vicar for clergy.