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Pope Francis appoints coadjutor bishop for Camden Diocese

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Pope Francis appointed a successor to lead the Camden Diocese this week.

The Most Reverend Joseph Andrew Williams became coadjutor bishop, giving him the right to succeed Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan, who will officially retire on his 80th birthday, next St. Patrick's Day.

Sullivan tendered his resignation by his 75th birthday in 2020, as required by Canon Law.

The Diocese of Camden is comprised of 2,691 square miles. There are 311,489 Catholics among the population of 1,365,458.

Bishop Williams was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2002 and his episcopal ordination took place Jan. 25, 2022, according to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis website.

Before his role as auxiliary bishop and his current assignment as moderator and priest-in-solidum of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Saint Paul, he served as pastor of Saint Stephen in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2022, and parochial administrator of Holy Rosary in Minneapolis from 2020 to 2022).

He was appointed Vicar for Latino Ministry in 2018, is a member of the board of trustees for The St. Paul Seminary and St. John Vianney College Seminary, and has served as chaplain of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

He was born May 2, 1974, to Dr. Gary and Mary Williams. He is the third of their nine children.

He grew up in Stillwater, Minn., where he attended Saint Croix Catholic School and Stillwater High School. His brother, Father Peter Williams, was ordained in 2004, and is a priest of the archdiocese and Pastor of Saint Ambrose in Woodbury.

Bishop Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota Morris, graduating summa cum laude in 1996. 

He studied philosophy and pre-theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, from 1996 to 1998 and attended The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul from 1998 to 2002, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a priest when he was 28.

Bishop Williams is known for his longtime ministry to Latino and Spanish-speaking Catholics. 

Members of both of his most recent parishes are predominantly Latino, and he has worked to change negative cultural perceptions of undocumented immigrants and he has led neighborhood-based evangelization efforts, which include knocking on doors and inviting people to Mass and faith formation.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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