Visiting bishop to preside at confirmation Saturday for members of four area parishes
SHAMOKIN - The Most Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, Ga., will bestow the sacrament of confirmation to 37 eighth-grade students from Mother Cabrini, Our Lady of Hope, St. Patrick and Holy Angels parishes and seven adults from Our Lady of Hope Church during a Mass at 10 a.m. Saturday in Mother Cabrini Church on North Shamokin Street.
A social will be held in the church hall following the ceremony.
The 61-year-old Hartmayer, a close friend of the Rev. Martin Kobos, pastor of Mother Cabrini Church, has served as the 14th bishop of Savannah since Oct. 18, 2011.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he was ordained a priest May 5, 1979, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, N.Y., by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard. He joined the Conventual Franciscan Friars at the novitiate of St. Joseph Cupertino in Ellicott City, Md., in 1969. He professed his simple vows there Aug. 15, 1970, and his solemn vows Aug. 15, 1973.
The bishop earned a master of education degree in secondary Catholic school administration from Boston College in 1992 and a master of arts degree in pastoral counseling from Emmanuel College in Boston, Mass., in 1980. He also received a master of theology degree from St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, N.Y., in 1979 and bachelor of science degree in philosophy from St. Hyacinth College and Seminary, Granby, Mass., in 1974.
Hartmayer, who graduated in 1969 from Cardinal O'Hara High School, Buffalo, N.Y., was pastor of St. John Vianney Church, Lithia Springs, Ga., from 2010 to 2011.
He also was pastor of St. Philip Benizi Church, Jonesboro, Ga., from 1995 to 2010, and served on the faculty at John Carroll High School in Fort Pierce, Fla., from January to August 1995.
He was principal of St. Francis High School, Athol Springs, N.Y., from 1989 to 1994; principal at Cardinal O'Hara High School, Tonawanda, N.Y., from 1988 to 1989, and a teacher, guidance counselor and principal at Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore, Md., in 1974 and 1975, 1979, and 1985 to 1987.
The bishop has been on the Archdiocesan Committee for the Ongoing Formation of Priests and served as a mentor for newly-ordained priests since 2008. He also has been on the Archdiocesan College of Consultors since June 2005 and was elected chairman of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests for several years. He also was elected as a representative for religious order priests.
His Conventual Franciscan appointments include past definitor of the St. Anthony of Padua Province, and guardian of friaries in Baltimore, Md., Tonawanda, N.Y., Athol Springs, N.Y., Jonesboro and Lithia Springs, Ga.