By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of ailing Archbishop Michael Byrnes as Archbishop of Agana while concurrently appointing Vicar General Father Romeo Convocar as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana.
Byrnes stepped down due to an illness not disclosed by the diocese.
His resignation and Convocar's appointment will take effect on March 28, Rome time. “First, I thank Archbishop Byrnes for the tremendous courage, faith and obedience he demonstrated seven years ago when he answered the call from the Holy Father to travel many miles away to lead the faithful in a place he knew little about,” Convocar said.
“It took much dedication and faith in God. We have much sadness about his departure but our prayers continue to be with him as he contends with his life-changing illness," he added.
Convocar indicated that in the next few days, he will be able to provide more information on the health of former archbishop who is being taken care of by close friends and associates in his original home of Detroit, Michigan.
“Please continue to pray fervently for our brother and outgoing leader,” said Convocar. “I did not seek the position of Apostolic Administrator but I will continue to do my best in this role until the Pope appoints a permanent successor to former Archbishop Byrnes,” he added.
“In my time as Vicar General, I have been able to help lead the archdiocese because of the assistance and dedication of so many good, strong Catholics; our clergy, religious, Curia members, volunteer council members and the resilient Catholics who continue to practice their faith in our parishes, schools, ministries, homes and families despite very difficult challenges.” Convocar said he will communicate further with the Vatican and in the days ahead plans to meet with the clergy, religious and other members of the faith community as well as members of the island media regarding the appointment and the continued challenging work that lies ahead.