Kulpmont Parishioners React To Bishop’s Death

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KULPMONT -- At Holy Angels Church in Kulpmont, Roman Catholics gathered to worship during a mass Thursday night.

Many were shocked by the death of Bishop Joseph McFadden.

"Sadness, shock, it was quite sudden, and he was a man of the people and a very gentle-hearted bishop, so he will be missed," said Maria Foris, a parish member.

"I was surprised because he was a young man and for him to pass away that quick, I  don't think anyone was expecting anything like that," said Michael Sikora of Kulpmont.

McFadden was installed as Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese in 2010.

He was the 10th Bishop of Harrisburg.

The diocese includes 15 counties, including Columbia, Montour, Snyder, Union and Northumberland.

Some in Kulpmont said despite his death, things will change for Catholics in the area.

"I doubt it would be a long-term problem, but this is a close-knit community and these are small towns, and I think people will be okay until they get around to electing a new one," said Joseph Phillipine of Kulpmont.

Church leaders will now choose an administrator to deal with day-to-day business in the diocese. The Pope will then appoint a new bishop.

"Hoping we will be blessed with a spiritual man to lead the people of Harrisburg onward and filling the void that the Bishop has left," said Foris.

Services for Bishop McFadden begin Sunday night. The schedule of events is posted here.