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Pope names area's new bishop

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POSTED: July 19, 2011 11:23 a.m.

SAVANNAH — Pope Benedict XVI has chosen a metro Atlanta priest to be the new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, which governs parishes in 90 south Georgia counties.

The diocese announced Tuesday that the Rev. Gregory John Hartmayer will succeed Bishop J. Kevin Boland, who is retiring after 52 years in the priesthood.

Hartmayer is pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Lithia Springs. The 59-year-old priest is a native of Buffalo, N.Y.

Hartmayer's ordination as bishop is scheduled for Oct. 18 in Savannah.

He will be the 14th bishop of the Savannah diocese since its founding in 1850. The diocese has a population of more than 77,000 Catholics in southern Georgia.

Boland, who has been bishop since 1995, announced his plans to retire last year.



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