Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 10:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced earlier this morning that Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Peter Leslie Smith to assist in leading the archdiocese of Portland, Ore. as their new auxiliary bishop.
Following the retirement of the diocese's previous auxiliary bishop Kenneth D. Steiner in 2011, Msgr. Smith will serve as the archdiocese's third auxiliary bishop.
The bishop-designate was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 2001, and has served in a variety of pastoral roles, including priest of St. Rose of Lima parish in Portland, as the Archdiocesan delegate for the charismatic movement, adjunct judicial vicar, local superior of the Brotherhood of the People of Praise and vice chair of the Presbyteral council.
He holds a degree in law from the University of Natal Law School, a master's in theology from the Mount Angel Seminary in Saint Benedict, Ore., a bachelor's degree in theology from the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome, and a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, U.S.A.
Currently serving as vicar general and moderator of the Curia, bishop-elect Smith will assist Archbishop Alexander K. Sample in his duties running the diocese.
Portland has a current population of 1,379,000, 207,300 of whom are Catholic, with 168 priests serving in different roles in the diocese, and with 42 permanent deacons and 347 religious from various communities and congregations.