Philadelphia priest Monsignor Edward Deliman will become the archdiocese’s new auxiliary bishop in August, and he says the prospect is humbling, and a lot to absorb.
“I’ve been a priest for 43 years. I’ve loved and cherished every moment of it. To say that I’m humbled doesn’t adequately express my feelings about this announcement, but I am,” Bishop-designate Deliman said May 31.
“I’m grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for calling me to serve as an auxiliary bishop in our archdiocese and I joyfully accept this moment as one of grace in my life and in the life of the local Church.”
The 69-year-old priest is presently pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bensalem, Pa.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said the bishop-designate has served the archdiocese with “faithful dedication for many years.”
“The new bishop-elect is a humble man who loves the priesthood and is tirelessly devoted to his ministry. He is greatly loved by the people he’s served over the years,” the archbishop said, according to Catholic Philly. “As more of the faithful in our local Church come to know him, I’m sure they will admire him with keen affection as well.”
Bishop-designate Deliman’s episcopal ordination will take place Aug. 18.
He reflected on the many people who have influenced his life.
“I’ve been blessed to have brother priests, deacons, women and men religious, seminarians, and parishioners from the Latino and Anglo communities who have been a presence throughout my priestly ministry,” he said. “They have all touched my life in tremendously positive ways. I’m thankful for that and this moment is one I share with all of them.”
The bishop-designate was born March 4, 1947 in Lorain, Ohio. His parents moved to the Philadelphia area and he grew up in Catholic schools.
He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master of divinity.
He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 19, 1973. In 1991, St. John Paul II named him a monsignor.
He served as assistant pastor and pastor at several Philadelphia-area parishes, and he studied Spanish and served in the Archdiocese of San Juan in Puerto Rico.
Bishop-designate Deliman has served on the archdiocese’s metropolitan tribunal, in its youth ministry office, and on the diocesan presbyteral council. He was spiritual director at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary from 2001-2006, and priest vocation coordinator from 2005-2009.
Archbishop Chaput congratulated the bishop-designate and asked the people of the archdiocese to join him in praying “that the Holy Spirit will strengthen him as a successor to the apostles.”
“We are all blessed to receive such a gift from the Holy Father in the person of Bishop-elect Deliman,” the archbishop said.
He added that Pope Francis’ choice of the new bishop continues a long Philadelphia tradition of priests being recognized for their ability to serve as bishops.
There are presently three auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese: Bishop Timothy Senior, the rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, who heads the office of Catholic education and five administrative offices; and Bishop John McIntyre, who is responsible for archdiocesan Catholic Human Services and evangelization ministries.
There are about 1.4 million Catholics in the Philadelphia archdiocese, among 4 million people.
Bishop-designate Deliman’s future role is yet to be determined. However, Archbishop Chaput said he would visit all parishes in the archdiocese with Hispanic populations.
The bishop-designate thanked Archbishop Chaput for his support and guidance.
“This news was a complete and unexpected surprise to me and it’s certainly been a lot to absorb,” he said.