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Faith & Parish

Kentucky bishop named to Harrisburg; auxiliary named for Sacramento

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Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington, Ky., has been named to head the diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., and the vicar general of the diocese of Fresno, Calif., has been named auxiliary bishop of Sacramento, Calif.

Pope Francis made the appointments Friday. They were announced in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Later in the day, the new bishops were introduced at news conferences in the two state capitals.

Bill de Blasio, New York's new 'spiritual but not religious' mayor

From its historic black churches to large Jewish enclaves to landmark Catholic and Protestant churches, New York City is the ultimate religious melting pot. And now, overseeing it all is a new mayor whose only religious identity seems to be "spiritual but not religious."

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office Jan. 1, is now perhaps the nation's most visible "none," an icon of one of the nation's fastest-growing religious groups -- those without any formal religious identification.

Pope Francis appoints Texas priest to head Pueblo diocese in Colorado

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Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Stephen Berg, a priest of the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, to head the diocese of Pueblo, Colo.

Berg, who is 62, succeeds Bishop Fernando Isern, who resigned in June for health reasons.

The appointment was announced Wednesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican's nuncio to the United States.

The Texas priest is currently serving as diocesan administrator in Fort Worth and will continue in the post until Bishop-designate Michael Olson is ordained a bishop and installed to head that diocese Jan. 29.

Prayers urged for victims affected by chemical spill in West Virginia

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Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston asked the state's Catholics to join him in praying for the 300,000 people affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill in the southern region of the state.

He asked for the prayers during the televised Mass he celebrated Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, noting the many people who were still suffering in Charleston and the surrounding area who had not had access to clean water for days.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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