Pope Francis named Fr. Bruce Lewandowski as an auxiliary bishop of Baltimore Wednesday.
The Redemptorist priest currently serves as pastor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Baltimore, Maryland.
Speaking to the Catholic Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, before his appointment was made public, Lewandowski said that he had received a phone call from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, June 1.
He told the nuncio that the Redemptorist founder St. Alphonsus Liguori had advised members not to accept episcopal nominations. When he suggested that he should call his superior, Pierre replied: “The Holy Father is the highest authority. So you don’t need to consult anybody.” Lewandowski then accepted the appointment.
The bishop-elect was born in 1968 in Toledo, Ohio. He made his solemn vows as a Redemptorist on September 10, 1988, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 7, 1994, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
After ordination he served at St. Cecilia Parish in New York (1994-1996); Immaculate Conception Parish in the Bronx (1996-1998); and Seelos House in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, in the West Indies (1998-2000).
From 2000 to 2006, he was pastor at St. Boniface in Philadelphia. He was then appointed pastor at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kensington, also in Philadelphia, where he served until 2011. From then until 2015, he was Vicar for Cultural Ministries for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Since 2016, he has served as pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus/Sagrado Corazon de Jesus in Baltimore. In August 2019, he was appointed interim delegate for ministry to Hispanic Catholics in Baltimore archdiocese.
Lewandowski will help Archbishop William E. Lori, the current bishop of Baltimore, to oversee an archdiocese covering 4,801 square miles, with a population of 3,261,853, including 501,174 Catholics.
In a June 10 statement on Baltimore archdiocese’s website, Lewandowski said: “I am humbled and very grateful to His Holiness, Pope Francis, and to Archbishop Lori to be asked to serve our beloved Church in this very special way.”
“I remember with special gratitude today my family, all of the fellow priests, religious sisters, partners in mission, and so many wonderful parishioners that I have had the privilege of living, praying, serving and worshipping with in parish ministry over the last 26 years.”
Lewandowski will be ordained at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, on Thursday, August 18.