PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After nearly two decades leading the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Bishop Thomas Tobin.

The Diocese of Providence made the announcement early Monday morning.

Tobin submitted a letter of resignation when he turned 75 on April 1, as required by the Code of Cannon Law.

“Thank you to the priests, deacons, consecrated women and men, our diocesan staff, and all the faithful lay members of our church! Thank you for your patience and your prayers. Any good that we have been able to accomplish during the past eighteen years is a result, first of all, of your faith, your generosity, and your hard work,” Tobin said in a statement.

Bishop Richard Henning was announced as Tobin’s replacement in November of 2022. He now automatically succeeds him as the 9th Bishop of Providence.

“For the last several months, I have been visiting communities across this ‘State of Hope.’ My gratitude to God for this new ministry in the Diocese of Providence has only deepened as I have come to know its clergy, religious, and people,” Henning said.

“As the Holy Father accepts Bishop Tobin’s retirement, I express my gratitude to Pope Francis and to Bishop Tobin for the gift they have given to me,” he continued. “I also wish to express my gratitude for the priests of this Diocese who are my brothers and co-workers in the vineyard.”

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.