Hamilton's Catholic Diocese has a new Auxiliary Bishop, one of Pope Benedict's final appointments before he steps down.

Bishop-elect Daniel Miehm said he accepts his new role with "serenity" and hadn't thought of it in the context of the Pope's resignation until it was mentioned to him.

"To be framed in that way, was a revelation," he said. "To be appointed under one papacy and ordained under another is rare.

'I was very content as a priest. I thought that would be my future.'—Daniel Miehm, Bishop-elect

"I don't know many Bishops who have straddled two regimes like that."

Miehm will officially become Auxiliary Bishop after his ordination this spring, although a date has yet to be set for the ceremony.

He likens the role of auxiliary to that of vice-president.

"I will be the Bishop's chief collaborator and assistant," he said. "I will work in harmony and unison with him."

Call came last week

Miehm has worked in the Hamilton Diocese since his ordination as a priest in 1989 and said he never imagined doing anything else.

"I was very content as a priest," he said. "I thought that would be my future."

But all of that changed last Tuesday when he got a call from Archbishop Pedro López Quintana in Ottawa to receive his appointment.

"I was very nervous and full of anxiety," Miehm said. "But at the same time I was prepared to accept [the new role]."