The Holy Father Pope Francis has today, 12 September 2016, accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerard Hanna as the fifth Bishop of Wagga Wagga due to health reasons.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.
On 9 December 1968, Bishop Hanna was ordained a Priest of the Diocese of Armidale. He was appointed Bishop of Wagga Wagga on 5 February 2002 at the age of 60.
Bishop Hanna will turn 75 years old on 22 December this year.
Speaking about his retirement, Bishop Hanna said, ‘It has been a special time ministering to the people of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. Due to continuous ill health, it is no longer possible for me to continue my ministry across the diocese. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the families, parishes and communities across the diocese for their support, engagement and welcome throughout my time as Bishop of Wagga’.
The Diocese of Wagga Wagga is 62,160 square kilometres with 31 parishes and a Catholic population of 66,000.
Upon receiving the news, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, thanked Bishop Hanna for his commitment, dedicated ministry and tireless service to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and to the diocese.
During his time as member of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, he served as Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Administration and Information and also as a member of the Employment Relations, Finance, Social Welfare and Pastoral Life commissions.
Bishop Hanna also served as the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, the Bishops Delegate for Natural Fertility Australia and Bishops Delegate for Pastoral Research.