New spiritual leader in Springfield

Bishop McDonnell reflects on his last 10 years

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A big day for the Springfield Catholics. The Diocese announced the Bishop who will replace Bishop Timothy McDonnell.

Eighteen months after announcing his retirement, Bishop Timothy McDonnell introduced his successor to the rest of the Springfield Diocese. Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of Polish descent and originally from Baltimore will be officially installed August 12th to become the Diocese 9th Bishop.

“I have accepted because in faith we believe it’s the will of God and that God will always be with us in whatever task we are given,” Rozanski said.

Bishop Rozanski was in Springfield to lead his first daily mass, meet churchgoers and hear what they expect from their new spiritual leader.

“I would like to see him look toward the future of the church by especially looking at those who don’t come to church on a regular basis and help them to see the beauty that exists in the catholic church,” said Sister Paula Robillard of Springfield.

Retiring Bishop McDonnell says he’s happy with the Pope’s choice and reflected on his ten years of leadership that included the reconfiguring of parishes and a tornado.

“We’ve had tremendous highs and we’ve had tremendous lows, everyone remembers the tornado and the devastation it caused particularly to Cathedral, St. Michaels Academy and to the priest residents of that time,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell gave Rozanski a tour of western Mass., but the new Bishop says he looks forward to spending even more time in the community.

“I hope to be out amongst the people as much as I can. I’m a little bit of an extravert in that so I love being out among people and I look forward to getting out to meet the people of the Diocese of Springfield,” he said.

Bishop Rozanski says he’ll be back and forth between here and Baltimore until his August installation.

McDonnell will attend to day-to-day operations until then.

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