24 September 2010
The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby is taking on the job as the head of Hamilton’s 155 Catholic parishes and missions this fall.
He takes over from Rev. Anthony Tonnos, who held the post for the past 26 years, and made the announcement Friday.
Crosby, who is originally from Marathon, Ont. and studied in Ottawa, is coming from Corner Brook, N.L., where he was the bishop of the diocese covering that area and Labrador since 2007.
He said he expects to learn “a lot very quickly” after he officially becomes Hamilton’s bishop Nov. 8.
Gerard Bergie, the auxiliary bishop here, is officially replacing James Wingle in St. Catharines as bishop after he resigned without notice in April.
Crosby has regularly travelled to Hamilton to assist in confirmation celebrations for more than 10 years.
“I’m following a great bishop. Bishop Tonnos is a remarkable man,” the 61-year-old said Friday. “I’m only hopeful that I can measure up.”
He said his first priorities as bishop are to meet with as many priests and Catholic church-goers as possible.
With more than 200 priests here and a local Catholic population of about 560,000, it will be a big job, he said.
“Even though it may be an early priority, it’s going to be a long-standing one,” he said.
Tonnos, who resigned as bishop on his 75th birthday in August, according to Roman Canon law, said he is looking forward to slowing down.
“I’m very happy. I’m quite prepared for retirement,” he said. “Bishop Crosby is a very fine bishop and a very fine man.”
He said he plans to stay in the Hamilton area.
Tonnos was last in the national spotlight in April when the Globe and Mail published an article that cited a letter stating he knew about a priest’s child abuse years before it was reported.
At the time he planned to issue a statement to his parishioners.
“I denied that I knew he (Bernard Prince) molested anyone. I still deny that,” he said Friday.
Crosby has also tackled the issue of child abuse by priests in Newfoundland, speaking out in May about an alleged case and officially apologizing on behalf of the church in 2005.
BIO: Rev. Douglas Crosby
He became an ordained priest in 1975. He was has been a bishop for 13 years: 10 at Labrador City-Schefferville — four of those years also in Saint George’s, N.L. — and three at Corner Brook and Labrador.
BIO: Rev. Anthony Tonnos
He became an ordained priest in 1961 and a bishop in 1983. That year, he became auxiliary bishop of Hamilton, and then bishop of Hamilton the following year until now.