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Manchester auxiliary bishop to retire

Staff Report
February 01. 2018 8:53PM
The Most Rev. Francis J. Christian, shown here in 2008, has turned 75 and will be retiring from his duties as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Manchester. (UNION LEADER FILE)



MANCHESTER — The auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, Most Rev. Francis J. Christian, has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The Most Rev. Peter A. Libasci, bishop of Manchester, announced Thursday that Pope Francis has accepted Christian’s resignation.

“We are most grateful to Bishop Christian for his tireless and admirable ministry throughout his nearly 50 years of priesthood and his nearly 22 years as auxiliary bishop in the service of God’s people in the diocese and through the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” Libasci said in a statement. “We look forward to wishing this good and holy priest and bishop many happy and blessed years!”

As a bishop emeritus, Christian will continue to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation, accept requests for episcopal presence at Masses and ceremonies throughout the diocese. He will also continue as pastor of the parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Nashua, where he has served since 2003.

Christian was born in 1942 in Peterborough. He attended St. Anselm College in Manchester, St. Paul Seminary in Ottawa and the American College in Louvain, Belgium, earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1964, his master’s degree in theology in 1968, and a doctoral degree in religious studies with a specialization in moral theology in 1975. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester by Bishop Ernest J. Primeau in 1968 at St. Patrick Church in Jaffrey.

Pope John Paul II appointed then-Monsignor Francis Christian in 1996 as auxiliary bishop of Manchester.


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