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Pope Names Springfield, Illinois Priest as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas and Newark Priest as Auxiliary Bishop of Miami

 
February 20, 2014
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Msgr. Carl Kemme, 53, vicar general of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas. He also named Msgr. Peter Baldacchino, 53, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami.
 
The appointments were publicized in Washington, February 20, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Carl Kemme studied at the Diocesan Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Cardinal Glennon College in St. Louis, and Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis. He was ordained for the Springfield Diocese in 1986, and named a monsignor in 2002. He succeeds Archbishop Michael Jackels who became Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa, April 8, 2013.

Assignments after ordination included parochial vicar, St. Patrick Parish, Decatur, Illinois, 1986-1989; parochial vicar, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Collinsville, Illinois, 1989-1990; parochial vicar, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Springfield, 1990-1992; pastor, St. Mary’s Church, Brussels, Illinois, St. Joseph Church, Meppen, Illinois, and St, Barbara Church, Batchtown, Illinois, 1992-1996; administrator, Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Parish, Mt. Zion, Illinois, 1996-1997; pastor, Holy Family Church, Decatur, 1996-2002; priest moderator, St. James Parish, Decatur, 2001-2003; pastor, St. Peter Church, Petersburg, Illinois, 2002-2005; vicar general and moderator of the curia, Springfield Diocese, 2002-2009; pastor, St. John Vianney Church, Sherman, Illinois; diocesan administrator sede vacante, Springfield Diocese, 2009-2010, and vicar general and moderator of the curia, Springfield Diocese, 2010 to the present.

The Wichita Diocese includes 20,021 square miles. The population is 988,234 persons, with 112,499, or 11 percent of them, Catholic.

Bishop-elect Baldacchino has been chancellor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (T.C.I.), a juridical mission of the Newark Archdiocese, since 1999.

Peter Baldacchino was born December 5, 1960, in Sliema, Malta, and holds citizenship in both the United States and Malta. He studied for the priesthood at Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Seminary in Newark, 1990-1996, and was ordained a priest for the archdiocese in 1996.

Assignments after ordination included parochial vicar, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Ridgewood, New Jersey, 1996-1999; chancellor of T.C.I., 1999 to the present; and Pastor of Our Lady of Providence Church, Providenciales Island, T.C.I., 2002 to the present. He was named a monsignor in 2009.

He holds a diploma in sciences from the University of Malta; electrical installation licenses from Umberto Calosso Trade School, Malta; a bachelor of arts degree from Thomas A. Edison State College and a master of divinity in pastoral ministry degree from the School of Theology, Seton Hall University.

He speaks English, Italian, Maltese, Spanish and Creole.
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