New bishop to be installed today
YOUNGSTOWN — The Mass of Ordination and Installation for the Rev. David J. Bonnar as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown will take place 2 p.m. today at St. Columba Cathedral.
On Nov. 17, Pope Francis appointed Bonnar of the Diocese of Pittsburgh as the sixth bishop of Youngstown. Bonnar is replacing Bishop George Murry, who died in June after battling leukemia.
Bonnar, 58, was born in Pittsburgh. and was ordained to the priesthood on July 23, 1988. He is presently pastor of St. Aidan Parish in Wexford, Pa.
Bishop-elect Bonnar also has served as a parochial vicar at St. Vitus in New Castle, St. Rosalia in Greenfield and St. Thomas More in Bethel Park. He served as pastor of St. Bartholomew in Penn Hills, St. Bernard in Mt. Lebanon and Administrator of Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township.
He served as rector of Saint Paul Seminary, Director of Pre-Ordination Formation, Director of Vocations and the Director of the Permanent Diaconate. For the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he served as secretary of parish and ministerial leadership and the vicar of clergy.
For 12 years, Bonnar was chaplain of the Pittsburgh Steelers and is editor of The Priest Magazine, which is a national publication for priests published by Our SundayVisitor.
During his introduction in November, Bonnar said he will focus on unity and oneness among the parishes and community, welcoming both Catholics and non-Catholics.
Bonnar said in his 32 years in ministry, with 25 spent in parish ministry and 17 as a pastor, he has worked hard for unity.
“One by one we can bring people together. I will do all in my power to bring about unity and oneness. Whether you are a Browns fan, a Bengals fan, a Steelers fan or no fan, I am here to be of service to you. You will always be in my prayers. I want nothing but the best for you and the community,” Bonnar said previously.
Bonnar said he is proud to begin serving the Diocese of Youngstown and to learn the faith, traditions, needs, strengths and challenges of the local churches.
“I will give the Diocese my shepherd’s care. It is my honor to lead this effort in these six counties as your next bishop,” he said.
He will oversee parishes in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Trumbull counties.
Bonnar said of Murry: “He displayed time and time again a true pastor’s heart. I hope to emulate his example. He was a true gift to the church who left us too soon. I promise to build on his foundation.”
Bonnar said he’s always wanted to be a parish priest. He said many people in his life had an influence on him.
“I will always be proud to have been among the priests of Pittsburgh,” he said.
“I truly am an ordinary man who comes from very humble beginnings. By God’s design, I am called to do extraordinary work in these six counties as the sixth bishop of Youngstown. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves, get my lunch bucket and get started here,” he said previously.
“I want to thank Pope Francis for his trust and confidence in me. I pledge that I will work hard every day to know, love and serve him with the flock he entrusted to me … I will strive every day to preach the joy of the gospel and wear that joy in my heart,” Bonnar said.