For Immediate Release: July 23, 2019
Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following the Holy Father’s Appointment of the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
I offer my congratulations and best wishes to Bishop Mark Brennan on his appointment by Pope Francis as shepherd of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Having known Bishop Brennan for more than 40 years, I am certain that he will guide and serve the people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston with great pastoral care and dedication.
He is a pastor’s pastor, one who is prayerful, modest and lives a simple life with an attitude of service to God and to the mission of his Church and people. Throughout my life, my path has crossed with Bishop Brennan’s many times. As a teenager, he served as parochial vicar at my home parish in Bowie, Saint Pius X. During my college years, he helped me discern my call to the priesthood and continued to offer me spiritual guidance in the years that followed. In my last year of seminary, Bishop Brennan became vocations director for the Archdiocese of Washington and was the one who provided the final recommendation to Cardinal Hickey to ordain me as a priest.
I know Bishop Brennan will be a skillful administrator and provide gentle, careful and competent oversight for the financial and pastoral needs of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese. The clergy, consecrated religious and lay faithful of the diocese will benefit greatly from his wisdom, counsel and great pastoral care. I look forward to working alongside him in the Baltimore province in the years to come.
I assure Bishop Brennan of my prayers for him and that the people of our diocese will keep him in prayer as he is called to this new leadership role.
USCCB statement on the appointment of the Most Reverend Mark Brennen as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston:
Pope Francis Appoints the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Brennan was born on February 6, 1947 in Boston, MA. He holds a bachelor of arts from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1969; and pursued seminary studies at Christ the King Seminary in Albany, New York, 1969-1970. In 1972 he received a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1972; he also pursued a graduate degree at the Gregorian, 1974. He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington on May 15, 1976. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Brennan as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in December of 2016, and he was consecrated a bishop on January 19, 2017.
Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Potomac, Maryland, 1976-1981, and Saint Pius X Parish, Bowie, Maryland, 1981-1985; parochial vicar, Saint Bartholomew Parish, Bethesda, Maryland, 1986-1988, pastoral care to Hispanic community, 1988-1989; director of vocations and priest programs, 1988-1998; pastor, Saint Thomas the Apostle parish, Washington, DC, 1998-2003, Saint Martin of Tours Parish, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 2003-2016. Other assignments include: member, priest council, 1978-1981, 2009-2015; member, College of Consultors, 1998-2001, 2011-2016; vicar forane, 2002-2005; advocate, Metropolitan Tribunal, 2006.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is comprised of 24,282 square miles and has a total population of 1,844,128 of which 77,874 or 4 percent, are Catholic.