After leading the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence for almost 20 years, Bishop Thomas Tobin is preparing for his final day, though he is unsure of when he will hand over the reins to his successor, Most Rev. Richard Henning. Tobin will turn 75 on April 1, which is also when he plans to submit his resignation letter. It will then be up to Pope Francis to accept it, though Tobin acknowledged that the acceptance timeline is mysterious. Tobin is proud of the impact the church has had in Rhode Island under his leadership, particularly its charitable assistance through organizations such as the Emmanuel House and the annual “Keep the Heat On” campaign. Tobin also expressed sadness over the loss of 91 priests who retired, died, or left the diocese altogether, while only 41 were ordained, citing reasons such as bad behavior, addiction, abuses, and a lack of faith. Tobin has been criticized in the past for his occasionally divisive opinions on Twitter, but plans to stay off the platform during retirement. He believes Henning will pick up where he left off and plans to stay in Rhode Island and offer assistance if needed.

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