A Clinton pastor has been named auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, the fourth Washington area priest to be made a bishop in two years.

Msgr. David E. Foley, 56, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Clinton and secretary of clergy affairs for the Washington Archdiocese, will be ordained as a bishop in early summer.

Foley will assist Bishop Walter F. Sullivan.

Foley expressed thanks to Pope John Paul II "for this sign of his confidence in me."

Foley was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in 1983, after eight years as pastor of St. Bernadette's Church in Silver Spring and five years as pastor of Holy Family in Hillcrest Heights.

He has held several leadership positions in the archdiocese, from writing a column in the archdiocesan newspaper to helping coordinate the 1979 visit here of Pope John Paul II.

He is a member of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, a trustee of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and vice chairman of the archdiocesan elementary schools study project.

In welcoming his new auxiliary, Sullivan pointed out that he and Foley "grew up together 50 years ago" at Blessed Sacrament parish in Chevy Chase and "we have had a close friendship throughout the years." Both men studied for the priesthood at St. Charles in Catonsville and St. Mary's in Baltimore.

Three years ago, the Vatican conducted a formal investigation of the Richmond Diocese, a move widely believed to be prompted at least in part by Sullivan's activism and antiwar stand. Sullivan maintained that the investigation grew out of his appeal to the Vatican for assistance in administering the sprawling diocese, which includes most of Virginia south of Fredericksburg.