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Thursday, June 6, 2013


Vatican City, 6 June 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Lionginas Virbalas, S.J., as bishop of Panevezys (area 13,000, population 390,000, Catholics 320,000, priests 98, religious 76), Lithuania. The bishop-elect, previously rector of the Pontifical Russian College of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Rome, Italy, was born in Birzai, Lithuania, in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1991. Since ordination he has served in several academic, pastoral, institutional, and diocesan level roles, most recently as: consultor of the Jesuit Provincial Curia in Lithuania (2003); adjunct secretary general of Lithuania's Episcopal Conference (2005-2009); and pastor of St. Casimir parish in Vilnius (1997-2005 and again from 2009-2010). He succeeds Bishop Jonas Kauneckas, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

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