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Former Allentown Diocese Priest Named Bishop of Harrisburg Diocese

The Rev. Ronald W. Gainer has been named bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, according to a release on the diocese website.

The Rev. Ronald W. Gainer has been named bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Credit Harrisburg Diocese
The Rev. Ronald W. Gainer has been named bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Credit Harrisburg Diocese

The Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, currently the bishop of the Lexington, Ky. Catholic diocese and a former priest in the Allentown Diocese in Easton and as the first secretary of Catholic life and evangelization, has been named bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg.

Gainer, 66, a Pottsville native who previously served in Easton and Reading, will be installed March 19, according to a release on the Diocese of Harrisburg website. He has been the Lexington bishop since 2003. The Harrisburg diocese covers 15 counties.

Gainer was the Allentown diocese's first secretary of Catholic life and evangelization. In that role, he supervised 14 diocesan offices and the promotion of the works of spiritual renewal and evangelization.

Gainer was ordained a priest of the Allentown diocese in 1973, according to an Allentown diocese release. During his 30 years as a priest in the Allentown area, he was an assistant pastor at the former St. Bernard’s Church in Easton and St. Catharine of Siena Church in Reading, and a campus minister at Lafayette College in Easton, at Kutztown University and at Albright College in Reading.

He also was the judicial vicar of the diocese and pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Whitehall Township.

Gainer completed studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia in 1973, earning a Master of Divinity degree, summa cum laude, and has earned a licentiate degree in Canon Law and a diploma in Latin Letter from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1986.

On the national level, Gainer is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Administrative Committee and Committee on Priorities and Planning. He has served as chair of the conference's Region V as well as having served on the Committee on Catholic Education, the Committee for Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, as well as a regional representative to the conference's Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, and liaison with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate.

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