Catholic bishops are calling for the appointment of a new bishop in Massachusetts after the archdiocese of Boston elected a woman as its new leader.
The Rev. Ann McKnight, of Springfield, has been a leader in the Boston archdiocesan Catholic community since 1999, serving as president of the Boston Area Diocesan Conference of Catholic Bishops, which oversees the archbishopric.
She was chosen by the archdeacon of Boston, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, on Wednesday.
The archdiacesan diocese said the appointment was made by the diocese’s Board of Trustees.
McKnight was appointed in July to serve a four-year term beginning in September.
She replaces Rev. John McAllister, who was removed as diocesan bishop in 2016.
McAllister was not the first choice of the archbishops, who made McAllisters first choice, but they said they were confident he would lead the church well into the next century.
McKnight is also the second African American woman to lead the Boston area diocese.
In addition to her service in the archangelate, she is also a leader at the Massachusetts Women’s Archdiocese, where she serves as co-chair of the Diocese’s Leadership Team.
McKinsey is the third African American Catholic leader to be named to the Boston diocese, joining Rev. James Martin in the Dioceses of Cambridge and Southborough, and Rev. Thomas J. Fagot in the diocesas of Brookline and Somerville.
She is the first African American bishop of a major U.S. diocese since the Boston Diocese established a leadership team in the 1960s to support women in the leadership of the church.
Mcallister was appointed to the archpact by then-Archbishop Timothy Danko in 1997, and was named to her position in 2012.
He has served as archbishop since 2005.
McHallister has been active in the church and is known for her advocacy of social justice, social justice theology and women’s issues.
She also has been vocal about her faith in social justice issues and the church’s position on the ordination of women.
McMahon, who is the chair of the Leadership Team for the Boston Women’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Boston, said in a statement that she was honored to be selected to lead Boston, a city she loves.
“I’m looking forward to serving the archdruid’s diocese as a leader of the diaconate, where I have the opportunity to help build a strong, unified, inclusive and welcoming church,” she said.
McCallister, the fourth African American to lead a major American diocese in the past 40 years, was elected to the diapoint in 2016 as the first woman to hold the position.