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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Francis J. Christian

February 1, 2018 

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of
Auxiliary Bishop Francis J. Christian 

(MANCHESTER, NH) – The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, announced today that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Francis Joseph Christian, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, for reasons of age. He has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. Bishop Christian’s retirement was publicized in Washington, February 1, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

“We are most grateful to Bishop Christian for his tireless and admirable ministry throughout his nearly fifty years of priesthood and his nearly twenty-two 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,” said Bishop Libasci, “We look forward to wishing this good and holy priest and bishop many happy and blessed years!

As a Bishop Emeritus, Bishop Christian will continue to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation, accept requests for episcopal presence at various Masses and ceremonies throughout the diocese, and will continue to serve as pastor of the parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Francis J. Christian was born October 8, 1942 in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He attended St. Anselm College, Manchester, St. Paul Seminary, 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 by Bishop Ernest J. Primeau, the sixth bishop of Manchester, for the Diocese of Manchester on June 29, 1968, at St. Patrick Church, Jaffrey, NH.

On April 2, 1996, Pope John Paul II appointed then-Monsignor Francis Christian as Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester and Titular Bishop of Quincy. He was ordained a bishop on May 14, 1996 at St. Joseph Cathedral by Bishop Leo E. O'Neil. 

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of 255,000 Catholics.  For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/about/overview.