Bishop Gerard Hanna will step down from his role as Bishop of Wagga Wagga after Pope Francis formally accepted his resignation today.
The bishop is retiring ahead of his 75th birthday in December due to ill health.
The Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, Archbishop Christopher Prowse, will oversee the diocese of Wagga Wagga as apostolic administrator.
Bishop Hanna was ordained a priest of the Armidale diocese in December 1968.
He has served as Bishop of Wagga Wagga since February 2002.
“It has been a special time ministering to the people of the diocese of Wagga Wagga,” the bishop said.
“Due to continuous ill health, it is no longer possible for me to continue my ministry across the diocese.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the families, parishes and communities across the diocese for their support, engagement and welcome throughout my time as Bishop of Wagga.”
The Wagga diocese is home to more than 66,000 Catholics in 31 parishes, across more than 62,000 square kilometres.
The president of the Australian Catholics Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, thanked Bishop Hanna for his commitment, dedicated ministry and tireless service to the diocese and to the bishops of Australia.
Bishop Hanna previously served as chairman of the Bishops Commission for Administration and Information and as a member of the Employment Relations, Finance, Social Welfare and Pastoral Life commissions.
He was the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, the Bishops Delegate for Natural Fertility Australia and Bishops Delegate for Pastoral Research.