The Most Rev. Phillip F. Straling, the first Roman Catholic bishop of San Bernardino, was reassigned Tuesday by Pope John Paul II to become bishop of a newly created diocese of Reno.
Straling, who has headed the Diocese of San Bernardino since it was organized in 1978, will assume his new duties in Reno at the end of June. Straling, 61, said he had asked for the change during discussions with the Pope's representative in the United States, Archbishop and Apostolic Pro-Nuncio Agostino Cacciavillan.
"I expressed my belief that after having served as bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino for 16 years, it would be good for my own personal growth as a bishop and the ongoing growth of the San Bernardino Diocese that I receive a new assignment," Straling said.
Currently, there is only one diocese in Nevada, but because of growth in that state, the diocese will be split. Bishop Daniel F. Walsh, who heads the Nevada diocese, will become the new bishop of Las Vegas; Straling will become bishop of Reno. No one has yet been named to replace him in San Bernardino.
A native of San Bernardino, Straling became bishop there in 1978 when there were 250,000 Catholics and 85 parishes. Today, there are 800,000 Catholics, 105 parishes and 169 priests.
The new Reno diocese will have 25 parishes and 38 priests.