The bishop of the Diocese of Salina in Kansas will succeed Bishop Gerald Kicanas as the new head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.
The announcement comes from Pope Francis, naming Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger as Tucson's new bishop. Last summer, Kicanas submitted his resignation to the Vatican, as is required for all bishops at age 75. He plans to stay in Tucson.
Weisenburger, who has served as bishop in Kansas since 2012, will be installed here on Nov. 29. He will be Tucson's seventh bishop.
Weisenburger was born in Alton, Illinois on December 23, 1960, according to press materials.
He attended Conception Seminary College in Missouri, graduating with honors in 1983. At the American College Seminary at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, Weisenburger earned the pontifical Bachelor of Sacred Theology (a graduate-level degree) and masters degrees in religious studies and moral and religious sciences.
Weisenburger was ordained to the priesthood in 1987.
His schooling continued at Saint Paul University in Ottawa Canada, where he earned the pontifical Licentiate in Canon Law degree in 1992.
Weisenburger's years in ministry include serving as a chaplain for rescue workers after the Oklahoma City bombing, as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and as pastor for two parishes: Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Okarche, Oklahoma (1995-2002) and then the Cathedral of our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City until 2012.
That's the year that Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salina in Kansas.
At a press conference Tuesday morning, Weisenburger stressed his concern and care for migrants and refugees and his support for Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"For more than a year, we have been fervently praying to the Holy Spirit to inspire Pope Francis to send us a caring and loving pastor and shepherd for the Diocese of Tucson," Kicanas said at the press conference. "And the Spirit has heard our prayer and then some."