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St. Raphael, St. Rose pastor chosen as Duluth’s diocesan administrator

DULUTH, MN -- A group of diocesan priests has elected a new administrator for the Duluth diocese.

Father James Bissonette, who serves as the pastor of St. Raphael Catholic Church in Duluth, as well as the St. Rose Catholic Church in Proctor, was chosen Wednesday afternoon.

Bissonette was chosen by the College of Consultors, and will care for the diocese, as well as take on some of the obligations and powers of a diocesan bishop, until a new bishop is appointed by Pope Francis.

The appointment of a new bishop could take up to a year.

Former bishop Paul Sirba died of cardiac arrest on December 1, and a vigil is planned for Thursday and Friday morning, until his funeral at 11 a.m.

According to the Duluth Diocese, Father Bissonette was also a diocesan administrator before Bishop Sirba was appointed.

Father Bissonette also served roles of both associate pastor and pastor at many churches in the region.

Krystal Frasier

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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