FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—JULY 23, 2019
Pope Francis Announces Appointment of Bishop Mark E. Brennan
As Ninth Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia
WHEELING, W.Va.— Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Mark E. Brennan,
currently Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as the ninth bishop of the
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Bishop Brennan, 72, was ordained a priest of the
Archdiocese of Washington on May 15, 1976 by the then-Archbishop William W. Baum.
A Boston native, Bishop Brennan is the son of the late Edward Charles Brennan and Regina
Claire Lonsway. He attended public schools in Massachusetts and Maryland before entering
St. Anthony High School in Washington, D.C. Bishop Brennan graduated from Brown
University in 1969 with a degree in history, and then entered Christ the King Seminary in
Alleghany, New York for a year of philosophy before attending the Pontifical North American
College in Rome for his theological studies.
A parish priest for nearly his entire career, Bishop Brennan was assigned to Our Lady of
Mercy Parish in Potomac, MD, from 1976-81; St. Pius X Parish in Bowie, MD, from 1981-85;
St. Bartholomew Parish in Bethesda, MD, from 1986-88; St. Thomas Apostle Parish in
Washington, D.C., from 1998-2003; St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg, MD from
2003-16. Bishop Brennan attended Spanish Language courses and Hispanic cultural studies
in the Dominican Republic and in Colombia from 1985-86. From 1988 to 1998, Bishop
Brennan was the Director of Priestly Vocations in the Archdiocese of Washington. He was
appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore on Dec. 5, 2016, and ordained
on Jan. 19, 2017.
“I am deeply honored to be appointed the new bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese
and am grateful to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his confidence in me to now lead the
Catholic faithful here in West Virginia in a spirit of true Christian service,” said Bishop
Brennan. “As my parents both retired to this great State a number of years ago, I am no
stranger and, in fact, a great admirer of the beauty of its landscape and people. It will be my
first priority to meet and get to know the good people across this diocese who are working
each and every day to make lives better, to lift those who are suffering and in need of
comfort, support and hope, and through their determined actions, living the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. Even as we work toward bringing about true healing and renewal here in this local
Church – work begun so well by Archbishop William Lori – I am full of hope and confidence
for what we can accomplish together. There is immense need which is matched by
immense desire and determination to reinvigorate the Church here in West Virginia and
across our nation. As your brother and servant, I look forward to soon being back with you
and to the joy of living and working among you.”
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, which includes nearly 75,000 Catholics, 95 parishes
and 34 smaller missions and chapels, encompasses the entire state of West Virginia.
Currently, there are approximately 250 diocesan and religious priests, women religious and
religious brothers, in addition to 25 primary and secondary Catholic schools, serving roughly
7000 students. The Diocese also has one Catholic hospital (Wheeling Hospital) and one
Catholic higher education institution (Wheeling University).
The formal installation of Bishop Brennan will take place on Thursday, August 22 at 2:00
p.m. in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—JULY 23, 2019