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Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler of the Diocese of Fairbanks to be the ninth Bishop of Saint Cloud in Minnesota. The announcement was made by the Vatican this morning. He succeeds Bishop John F. Kinney who is retiring at the age of 76.

Pope appoints Kettler ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud

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Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler of the Diocese of Fairbanks to be the ninth Bishop of Saint Cloud in Minnesota.  The announcement was made by the Vatican this morning.  He succeeds Bishop John F. Kinney who is retiring at the age of 76.

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Bishop Donald J. Kettler was ordained and installed as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks on August 22, 2002.

Bishop Kinney said of the appointment, “It is with heartfelt appreciation to our heavenly Father and our Holy Father, Francis, that I welcome my successor, the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, the Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler.  He comes well prepared to assume his new responsibilities as the chief pastor of this local church.  For months our people have been praying, ‘In your faithfulness send us a shepherd whose watchful care and kindly zeal will continue the work of his predecessors……. Give us a shepherd who will lead us in being Christ’s heart of mercy, voice of hope and hands of justice’.  Today our prayers have been answered.  We rejoice and are glad!   A new day of hope is dawning for us during this Year of Faith.  May we seize this moment as we strive to grow stronger as children of God and disciples in mission together”. 

Bishop Donald Kettler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 26, 1944 to Joe and Marguerite Kettler. At an early age his family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where he and his three siblings were reared.

He graduated from St. John University and Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota and was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1970. He became an Associate Pastor in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls from 1970 until 1979. From 1979 - 1981 he coordinated work for the Sioux Falls Diocesan offices and again from 1984 - 1987. In 1981 he attended The Catholic University of America for two years and received his licentiate degree in canon law (J.C.L.) and was then named the Judicial Vicar for the Sioux Falls Diocese in 1983. In 1984 he began ministry as the weekly TV Mass celebrant which continued until his move to Fairbanks.

He has served as Judicial Vicar for the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, was a member of the Sioux Falls Diocesan Finance Council, Stewardship Committee, Catholic Family Services Board of Directors, the Association of Christian Churches of South Dakota Board of Directors, and a Board Member of the Sioux Falls Catholic School System.

He served as an associate pastor in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls until 1979, rector of St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls from 1987-95 and pastor of St. Lambert Parish, Sioux Falls from 1995-2000. His last assignment for the Sioux Falls Diocese was as pastor of Christ the King Parish, Sioux Falls.

Bishop Kettler is the fourth priest of the Sioux Falls Diocese to be named a bishop. Lambert Hoch was named Bishop of Bismarck in 1952 and Sioux Falls in 1956. Paul Anderson became Bishop of Duluth in 1968 and returned to Sioux Falls as auxiliary bishop in his retirement, and Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, Apostolic Nuncio to the Ukraine.

Bishop Kettler currently serves on the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for Native Americans.

Bishop Kettler has one brother and two sisters. His brother Jim lives with his family in Dana Point, California while his sister Beth Fallgren lives with her family in Sturgis, South Dakota and Kathleen Morrissey lives with her family in Brandon, South Dakota. His mother, Marguerite, continues to reside in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.         

Bishop John Francis Kinney was born in Iowa in 1937.  He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis on February 2, 1963.  He was named a Bishop by Pope John Paul II on November 16, 1976, and was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul/Minneapolis by Archbishop John Roach on January 25, 1977.  Bishop Kinney was appointed to the Diocese of Bismarck, ND, on June 8, 1982 and installed on August 23, 1982.  On May 9, 1995 he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, and was installed as Bishop on July 6, 1995.

The Mass of Installation for Bishop Kettler will be held on Nov. 7, 2013.

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