Vatican City, Mar 5, 2020 / 04:09 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Thursday appointed Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah to be the next archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia.
Hartmayer is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and has been bishop of Savannah since 2011.
In Atlanta, Hartmayer follows Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who was appointed to head the Archdiocese of Washington in early 2019, after leading the Georgia archdiocese for almost 15 years.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta covers 21,445 square miles in the northern half of Georgia. The archdiocese has over 100 parishes and serves around 1.2 million Catholics.
It is also the metropolitan see of the province of Atlanta, which encompasses the suffragan dioceses of Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina.
This means, according to Pope Francis' 2019 norms Vos estis lux mundi, if a bishop in one of these dioceses were to be accused of sexual abuse or coercion, or of interfering in investigation of such conduct, it would fall to Hartmayer to investigate.
There are currently several 'Vos estis' investigations going on in dioceses in the U.S.
Hartmayer was born in 1951 in Buffalo, New York, one of four children.
He joined the Conventual Franciscan novitiate in Ellicott City, Maryland in 1969 and made his solemn profession in 1973.
He was ordained a priest for the Franciscan order in 1979.
In addition to a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Massachusetts, Hartmayer holds three master's degrees: a master of divinity degree from St. Anthony-on-Hudson, in Rensselaer, New York; a master of arts degree in pastoral counseling from Emmanuel College, Boston and a master of education degree from Boston College.
Prior to being named bishop of Savannah, Hartmayer had spent 16 of his 32 years of priesthood in Catholic high school education, with the remaining in parish ministry.
He spent many years in New York and Massachusetts, but in 1995, he moved south to teach at a Catholic high school in Florida, before being asked to serve as pastor of St. Philip Benizi Church in Jonesboro, Georgia.
Hartmayer was appointed bishop of Savannah in 2011.
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