HARRISBURG - Pope Francis has named Pottsville native the Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, 66, as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. He succeeds Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who died, May 2, 2013.

The Very Rev. Robert M. Gillelan, Jr., diocesan administrator, made the announcement in an email distributed to media early this morning.

Gainer will be introduced at a news conference at the Cardinal Keeler Center, 4800 Union Deposit Road, at 10 a.m. today

Gainer was born Aug. 24, 1947. After studies for the priesthood, he was ordained a priest for the diocese of Allentown on May 19, 1973. He was consecrated and installed as Bishop of Lexington, KY on February 22, 2003.

He will be installed as bishop of Harrisburg on Wednesday, March 19.

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.

For much of his priesthood, Gainer served in parish, campus ministry, marriages and family, and tribunal positions. As Secretary of Catholic Life and Evangelization for the Diocese of Allentown he supervised 14 diocesan offices and the promotion of the works of spiritual renewal and evangelization.

The Diocese of Harrisburg comprises 15 counties in Central PA, including: Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union and York. The Diocese has 249,238 registered Catholics.