Apr 9, 2024 - News

The Diocese of Charlotte will install a new bishop in May

Bishop Peter Jugis, 67, will retire due to a non-life-threatening kidney condition, the Diocese of Charlotte announced Tuesday. Father Michael Martin of Atlanta will become the Diocese's fifth bishop.

Bishop Peter Jugis (right) at the Diocese of Charlotte Tuesday morning introducing Bishop-elect Michael Martin as his successor. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Bishop Peter Jugis, 67, will retire soon due to a non-life-threatening kidney condition, the Diocese of Charlotte announced Tuesday. Father Michael Martin of Atlanta will become the diocese's fifth bishop.

Why it matters: Bishop-elect Martin will lead 530,000 Catholics across 46 counties in western North Carolina at a time when more than a quarter of U.S. adults do not affiliate with any religion, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Catch up quick: Jugis, a Charlotte native, has led the Diocese of Charlotte since 2003. He submitted a request for retirement last June, according to the Catholic News Herald.

Martin, 62, currently serves as pastor of St. Philip Benizi Parish in Jonesboro, Georgia.

  • He has been a teacher, coach and school administrator in Durham, Baltimore and New York.
  • From 2010-2022, he served as director of Duke Catholic Center, which is Duke University's official Catholic community.

What he's saying: Bishop-elect Martin says he's read the Pew Research and other "grim" statistics, but he notes that he also spent 12 years on a college campus.

  • He says he's hopeful about what can happen when you bring bright, energetic young people together to hear the Church's message.
  • It comes down to how you preach the good news, he says. It needs to be conveyed clearly and with joy.
  • "I'm not a person who feels like the youth in our country is lost," Bishop-elect Martin says. "Quite the opposite."
Bishop-elect Martin.
Bishop-elect Michael Martin. Photo: Courtesy of the Diocese of Charlotte

What's next: Martin was introduced at a press conference on Tuesday and will be ordained and installed as Charlotte's fifth bishop on May 29 at St. Mark Catholic Church in Huntersville.

  • After Martin is installed, Jugis will become Bishop Emeritus.

The intrigue: Martin assumes his new role amid other major changes in the Diocese of Charlotte.

  • The diocese's 20 schools are experiencing record enrollment, according to a statement from the Diocese of Charlotte.
  • The diocese is planning to build a new facility to replace its aging 350-seat St. Patrick Cathedral in Dilworth. The new cathedral will provide a larger space to hold significant ceremonies in Charlotte.
Diocese of Charlotte's headquarters in South End.
The Diocese of Charlotte headquarters is in South End. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
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