WILMINGTON, Del. – The Holy See announced this week that the Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, D.D. has been appointed the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. He succeeds the Most Reverend Michael A. Saltarelli, D.D., who has served as the eighth bishop of the diocese since 1996. In keeping with canon law, Saltarelli offered his resignation when he turned 75 years of age.
“I want to publicly acknowledge how happy I am to come to the diocese where my good friend, Bishop Saltarelli, has served as bishop,” Malooly said in a statement. “Our friendship dates back to 1994 when we worked together preparing for a Papal visit and I have continued to work with him through our association with the Maryland Catholic Conference and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I am grateful for his friendship and for his service to God’s people in Wilmington, and I am sure I will be depending upon him for support and guidance in the months and years ahead.”
Speaking at a press conference recently, Saltarelli said of Bishop Malooly’s appointment, “This is a momentous time in the history of the Church of Wilmington. The diocese has been blessed. I couldn’t be happier.” Saltarelli went on to say, “I give thanks to God, thanks to our Holy Father and thanks to Bishop Malooly for saying yes to the will of God to come and be our shepherd.”
Malooly will be installed as the ninth bishop of the diocese that includes the entire State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore on Sept. 8 at St. Elizabeth Church, Cedar and Clayton Streets in Wilmington, Del.
“To the people and priests of the diocese, I very much look forward to meeting you and to discussing how we can best work together in service to our Church and to our God,” Malooly said. “I have come to know many of the priests — including those who are consultors — and I look forward to getting to know their brothers, as well as the deacons, religious, and seminarians of the diocese.”
A Maryland native, Malooly is Titular Bishop of Flumenzer, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, Moderator of the Curia, Vicar General and Western Vicar (for Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, Carroll and Howard counties).
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 58 parishes, 18 missions and 37 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are approximately 228,000 Catholics in the diocese. Information about the diocese is available at www.cdow.org on the Internet.