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Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson; Names Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger as Successor

October 3, 2017

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona.  Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger, up until now Bishop of Salina, Kansas, has been named as the new bishop for the diocese.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on October 3 by Msgr. Walter Erbi, Chargé d'Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States.

Bishop Weisenburger was born in Alton, Illinois on December 23, 1960. He pursued seminary studies at the American College Seminary at the Catholic University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium where he earned a bachelor of Sacred Theology degree along with both a masters in Religious Studies in 1986 and Moral and Religious Science in 1987. 

Bishop Weisenburger was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City on December 19, 1987. He later earned his pontifical J.C.L. degree from the University of St. Paul in Ottawa, Canada (1992). Upon returning to the archdiocese, he was appointed vice-chancellor and adjutant judicial vicar.    

In addition to chancery duties, he worked in parish and prison ministries from 1992-1995 and served as the on-site chaplain for rescue workers following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In 1996, he was appointed Vicar General of the archdiocese of Oklahoma City. He remained with the Oklahoma City Tribunal for almost 20 years and served in various capacities including Promoter of Justice for the cause of canonization of Stanley Francis Rother, Servant of God. He served as pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Okarche, Oklahoma (1995-2002) and as pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (2002-2012). On February 6, 2012, he was appointed Bishop of Salina by Pope Benedict XVI and was ordained on May 1, 2012.

Bishop Kicanas was born August 18, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. He was ordained a priest on April 27, 1967 and served in various capacities in the seminary system of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 25 years. In 1984, he was appointed Rector of Mundelein Seminary and held seminary postings that included rector, principal, and dean of formation at the former Quigley Seminary South.    

Bishop Kicanas is the former Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and former Secretary of the USCCB.  He currently serves on the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education, Committee on Communications, the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs (consultant), and he is a member of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc, (CLINIC).

He is also the former Chair of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services and has chaired and served on numerous USCCB committees.

Bishop Kicanas was named coadjutor bishop of Tucson on October 30, 2001, and was installed on January 15, 2002. He became the seventh Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003.

The diocese of Tucson comprises 42,707 square miles of the southern part of Arizona.  It has a population of 1,904,477 people of whom 390,418 or 20 percent are Catholic.

Keywords: Pope Francis, Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger, Salina, Kansas, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, Diocese of Tucson, Msgr. Walter Erbi, Chargé d'Affaires, Apostolic Nunciature, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB.


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