Catholics gather for bishop ordination mass

Bishop-Elect Gregory Hartmayer
Bishop-Elect Gregory Hartmayer
Bishop Kevin Boland
Bishop Kevin Boland

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Tuesday is big day for Catholics in Savannah.

Dignitaries are gathered this afternoon as the Catholic Diocese of Savannah will ordain its 14th bishop at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

Bishop-Elect Gregory Hartmayer is replacing Bishop Kevin Boland who retired.

Final preparations are under way as more than 1,000 people will be gathering at the cathedral to see the 14th bishop of Savannah ordained.

Hartmayer expressed his feelings of excitement as he takes control of the diocese, which encompasses 90 counties in southern Georgia.

"I'm excited. I'm a little bit apprehensive and I'm looking forward to welcoming people from literally all over the world. What I hope people will sense from me is a sense of caring. I want people to know I care for them. I care about them, and I want them to be able to come to their bishop," Hartmayer told WTOC.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory will preside over the mass during which Hartmayer will be ordained by his fellow bishops, and religious leaders.

Boland, who is retiring from the diocese after serving 16 years as bishop, said he is confident leaving the congregation in good hands.

One cardinal, 19 bishops, five abbots and eight provincials are expected to attend.

There is open seating available in Our Lady's Chapel located below the cathedral, which seats 600. There will be four large screens set up for viewing the doors to the chapel opened 12:30 p.m.

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