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Published April 08, 2013, 11:05 AM

Pope appoints Nebraska priest as next bishop of Fargo Diocese

Pope Francis today appointed Monsignor John Thomas Folda of Nebraska to be the next bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo.

FARGO – Pope Francis today appointed Monsignor John Thomas Folda of Nebraska to be the next bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo.

The Holy See made the announcement at noon in Rome, or 5 a.m. Fargo time, according to diocese spokeswoman Tanya Watterud.

The Fargo Diocese serves more than 72,000 Catholics and 132 parishes and missions in the eastern half of North Dakota.

Folda will be the eighth bishop of Fargo, succeeding Bishop Samuel Aquila, who was named Archbishop of Denver on May 29. Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck will continue to serve as apostolic administrator for the Fargo diocese until the episcopal ordination of Folda, which is expected to take place in the second half of June.

A press conference to introduce Folda will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S.

The 51-year-old Folda was born in Omaha, Neb., and is a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb. He currently serves as rector of St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Neb.

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