Bishop Gerald Barnes, who has led the Diocese of San Bernardino for 23 years, announced Wednesday, Aug. 7, that he will be resigning next June, on his 75th birthday, as church law requires.

Pope Francis will soon name a “coadjutor bishop” to succeed Barnes, the longest current serving bishop of a Catholic diocese in the nation, diocesan spokesman John Andrews said. Such a bishop assists the bishop in administration of the diocese before taking the helm.

“The next 12 months will be a year unlike any other in recent memory in our Diocese,” Barnes said in a statement released by the Diocese on Wednesday, Aug. 7, that will be posted on the diocese’s website. “It will be a time of ending, of new beginnings and, for me, a time of transition.”

“We’ll soon receive a Coadjutor Bishop, who will spend the year getting to know our Diocese and working with me before he becomes the Ordinary Bishop when I retire,” said Barnes, adding that his successor will be the diocese’s third bishop since its establishment in 1978 under Bishop Phillip Straling.

Full story at The San Bernardino Sun.