07 April 2010
Posted By Tribune Staff
ST. CATHARINES — In a surprise announcement, Bishop James Wingle of St. Catharines Diocese, announced his resignation today.
In a letter sent to priests, deacons and others in the diocese, Bishop Wingle said, “The duties of the office of the diocesan Bishop call for vigorous stamina to meet the challenge of leadership. I am no longer able to maintain the necessary stamina to fulfill properly my duties. I believe that my resignation will serve not only my own spiritual and personal well being, but the good of the Diocese and the Church as well.”
On the official Vatican Information Service posting released today, it is written, “The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of St. Catharines, Canada, presented by Bishop James Matthew Wingle, in accordance with Canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.”
Wingle was installed as bishop Thursday, Jan.24, 2002. He was the fourth bishop of the local Diocese.
Wingle was the fourth bishop of the St. Catharines diocese, taking over from Bishop John O’Mara, who served from 1994 to 2001. Other bishops in the St. Catharines diocese were Bishop Thomas Fulton (1978-1994) and Bishop Thomas McCarthy (1958-1978).
The 63-year-old was born in Eganville, Ont, served as bishop of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, from 1993 until his appointment to St. Catharines in 2001. Before Yarmouth he was priest in Pembroke, Ont. between 1977 to 1993.
Father Paul McDonald of Eglise Sacre-Coeur in Welland, said he received a letter Wednesday morning informing him of Wingle’s departure.
“It was a great shock — totally unexpected,” McDonald told The Tribune.
McDonald said Wingle was bilingual, which served his French-language church quite well.
“That was a great gift to us. Yes, he’ll be very much missed.”