Vatican City, 12 December 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Rev. Joseph R. Kopacz of the clergy of Scranton, U.S.A., as bishop of Jackson (area 97,495, population 2,203,000, Catholics 52,500, priests 80, permanent deacons 4, religious 197), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Dunmore, U.S.A. in 1950 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He holds a degree in history from the University of Scranton, a masters degree in Latin from the Fordham University, New York, a masters degree in counselling and psychology and a doctorate in human development from the Marywood University in Scranton. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including: vicar of parishes in Brodheadsville and Sayre; parish administrator of “St. Patrick Parish”, Nicholson; lecturer and subsequently director of formation at the Saint Pius X seminary, Dalton; priest in numerous parishes in Jessop and Scranton, and vicar general for the clergy. Since 2006 he has been priest of “Most Holy Trinity” parish, Mount Pocono, and is also a member of the diocesan council for finances and co-ordinator of the Hispanic apostolate for Monroe County. He succeeds Bishop Joseph N. Latino, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Msgr. Michael J. Sis of the clergy of Austin, U.S.A., as bishop of San Angelo (area 96,951, population 619,000, Catholics 85,500, priests 57, permanent deacons 81, religious 39), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Mount Holly, U.S.A. in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He studied theology at the Gregorian Pontifical University and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome. He has served in the following pastoral roles: vicar of the “Cristo Rey” parish and St. Mary cathedral in Austin; vice-chaplain and subsequently university chaplain of the St. Mary's Centre of the Texas A & M University, College Station; director of vocations, and parish priest of “St. Thomas More” parish in Austin. Since 2010 he has served as vicar general and moderator of the Curia, and was named Chaplain of His Holiness in 2009. He succeeds Bishop Michael D. Pfeiffer O.M.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Msgr. Francis Bestion as bishop of Tulle (area 5,896, population 244,300, Catholics 221,400, priests 62, permanent deacons 10, religious 59), France. The bishop-elect was born in Fontans, France in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Montpelier, and following theological studies at the seminary of Avignon, he obtained a canonical licentiate in theology from the Institut Catholique of Toulouse. He has served in the following pastoral roles: vicar and subsequently parish priest in Langogne; teacher of philosophy and formator in the seminary of Avignon and teacher in the seminary of Toulouse. He has served as vicar general of Mende since 2009. He succeeds Bishop Bernard Charrier, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.