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Former Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas to serve as interim leader of Las Cruces Diocese

Former Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas to serve as interim leader of Las Cruces Diocese

The retired longtime bishop of Tucson’s Roman Catholic Diocese will serve in New Mexico after Pope Francis appointed him to a new position on Friday.

The Rev. Gerald Kicanas, now bishop emeritus of the Tucson Diocese, was appointed as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Las Cruces.

Kicanas, 77, will serve with the “powers and responsibilities of the local ordinary until the Holy Father appoints and installs a new bishop for the diocese,” the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces said in a news release.

Kicanas was appointed coadjutor bishop of Tucson on Oct. 20, 2001, and became the city’s bishop in March 2003. On Nov. 27, 2017, he was appointed as bishop emeritus. He was succeeded by the Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger,.

Kicanas has served in various positions since his ordination as a priest in April 1967, such as auxiliary bishop of Chicago prior to his years of work in Tucson.

“I have had the joy of visiting the Diocese of Las Cruces on a number of occasions,” Kicanas said in the news release. “I admire the clergy, religious and parishioners of the diocese and have been impressed by their commitment to the pastoral mission to this local church.”

Kicanas is chair of the board for the National Catholic Education Association and vice chancellor of the Catholic Extension Society, which helps support dioceses like those in Tucson and Las Cruces.

“I hope to do what I can to support the church until a new bishop is appointed,” Kicanas said in the news release. “Please keep me in your prayers.”

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

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