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UPDATE: Bishop Donald Kettler From Fairbanks To Take Over The Diocese Of St. Cloud [AUDIO]

Bishop Donald Kettler, Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD - The Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud is announcing a new Bishop this (Friday) morning.

Bishop Donald Kettler of Fairbanks, Alaska was introduced at a news conference this (Friday) morning.  He is 69-years-old. Click on the audio player to hear his comments.

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Kinney announced his retirement last summer, but had to wait for his replacement to be named after the transition to the new Pope was completed.

Bishop John Kinney, St. Cloud Diocese

Kettler has been the Bishop of Fairbanks since 2002.  He’s a graduate of St. John’s University.

An appointed administrator will lead the Fairbanks diocese until Pope Francis names a new bishop.

Pope John XXIII established the Fairbanks diocese on Aug. 8, 1962. It covers 400,000-square miles including multiple Alaska Native villages.

The church filed for bankruptcy after numerous claims of clerical sexual abuse, reaching a bankruptcy settlement with more than 300 victims.

The diocese emerged from reorganization in 2010.

Committees of clergy, religious and laity have been planning for today’s announcement for the past year.  Special events to come include: potential prayer services and receptions, and of course the installation or ordination Mass.

The Diocese of St. Cloud covers 16 counties, and has 131 parishes.  The Catholic population in the Diocese is about 145,000.

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