Washington, D.C. – Pope Francis has named Father Bernard E. Shlesinger, III, a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Atlanta. Father Shlesinger,57, currently serves as Director of Spiritual Formation at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.
The appointment was publicized in Washington, May 15, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bernard Shlesinger was born December 17, 1960. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1983. He went on to attend Theological College in Washington, DC (Pre-Theology/Philosophy) before attending Pontifical Gregorian University where he earned a B.A. in Sacred Theology in 1995. He then began Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) studies at the Angelicum (Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome) that same year. He was ordained a priest on June 22, 1996.
Father Shlesinger also served in the US Air Force from 1983 to 1990. An Air Force pilot who retired as Captain, he flew the C130E Hercules while stationed at Pope AFB, in Fayetteville, NC.
Assignments after ordination included: parochial vicar at St. Mary, Wilmington, NC, 1996-1998; Pastor at our Our Lady of Guadalupe parish as well as Assistant Vocation Director, Newton Grove, NC (1998-2007); Director of Vocations and Seminary Formation, Diocese of Raleigh (2007-2013); Administrator, Maria Reina de las Americas, Mount Olive, NC (2010-2012); Director of Spiritual Formation, Theology Division, St. Charles Borremeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, 2013 to present. Other responsibilities include: vicar forane, Newton Grove Deanery.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta comprises 21,445 square miles. It has a total population of 7,048,083 people of which 1,023,594 or 14.5 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory has been archbishop of Atlanta since 2005. The archdiocese currently has one active auxiliary bishop, Bishop Luis R. Zarama.