Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Ronald Gainer of Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Appoints Bishop Timothy Senior as Successor

USCCB Release: Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Ronald Gainer of Diocese of Harrisburg and Appoints Bishop Timothy Senior as Successor

April 25, 2023

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Harrisburg, and has appointed Bishop Timothy C. Senior, auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, as his successor.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2023, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The Diocese of Harrisburg is comprised of 7,660 square miles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has a total population of 2,334,337, of which 206,072 are Catholic.
Source: USCCB release
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Release:

Biographical Information on Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Bishop-designate of Harrisburg

Bishop Timothy Senior was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia in July, 2009. He is currently Regional Bishop of Montgomery County and Philadelphia-South as well as Chancellor of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.

Prior to assuming these responsibilities, Bishop Senior served as Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary from 2012 to 2022, after having been the Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 2009 to 2012. He served as Vicar for Clergy from 2004 to 2009. From 1992 to 2004, Bishop Senior served in the Archdiocesan Secretariat for Catholic Human Services, both as Deputy Secretary and then Secretary.

A 1977 graduate of Lansdale Catholic High School, Lansdale, PA, Bishop Senior is a classically trained pianist and the youngest of the three children of the late James H. and Elise Rothwell Senior. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1985. He earned a Masters of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, served as an assistant pastor at a parish in Bucks County and taught religion in an Archdiocesan high school. He was then assigned to graduate studies at Boston College, earning his Masters in Social Work and Masters in Business Administration in 1992.

In 1998, he was named Honorary Chaplain to His Holiness, and in 2005, he was named a Prelate of Honor. In 2009, Bishop Senior was appointed Titular Bishop of Floriana and Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, and was ordained a Bishop on July 31, 2009 by Cardinal Justin Rigali. Since that time, he has assisted Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop Chaput, and Archbishop Pérez with the pastoral and administrative care of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Comments from Archbishop Pérez and Bishop Senior Regarding the Appointment:

Archbishop Pérez said, “This moment is one of great joy for the Church in Philadelphia! I’ve known and worked closely with Bishop Senior since long before either of us were bishops. He is an exemplary priest who has served his hometown faithfully for many years with great wisdom, intelligence, and apostolic zeal for the good of souls. It has been an inspiration for me to witness his humility, devotion, and unending dedication for many years. Pope Francis has given the people of the Church in Harrisburg a true gift in making this appointment. I know Bishop Senior will serve them joyfully as a faithful shepherd.

I ask that the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of Philadelphia join me in extending hearty congratulations and prayerful best wishes to Bishop Senior as he prepares to accept this assignment.”

Bishop Senior is in Harrisburg today for a news conference regarding his appointment. The news conference will be streamed live at 10:00 a.m. at

He will be installed as the 12th Bishop of Harrisburg on Wednesday, June 21st by Archbishop Pérez within the celebration of the Holy Mass at Saint Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.

Bishop Senior said, “I am profoundly grateful to Pope Francis for his confidence and trust in appointing me to serve the faithful of the Diocese of Harrisburg as their next bishop. Trusting in God’s will and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I pray that I may be a faithful, holy, and worthy shepherd for the people of central Pennsylvania in service of Jesus Christ and for the good of His Church.”

Additional Information on Bishop Senior

Bishop Senior is an ex officio member of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, the Archdiocesan College of Consultors, the Archdiocesan Priest Personnel Board, and the Archdiocesan Finance Council. He is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, and Chairman of the Archdiocesan Admissions Board for the Diocesan Priesthood. Bishop Senior is also a member of Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

In the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Senior serves as a member of The Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, is the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and serves as a member of the Committee on National Collections, the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, and the Sub-Committee of the Committee on Doctrine on Health Care Issues.

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Editor’s Note: A photo of Bishop Senior is attached for publication purposes with credit to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Sources: USCCB release
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Release