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WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Robert Vasa, until now bishop of Baker, Oregon, as Coadjutor Bishop of Santa Rosa in California.
The appointment as coadjutor bishop confers on Bishop Vasa, 59, the right to succession to Bishop Daniel F. Walsh, current bishop of Santa Rosa. Bishop Walsh is 73.
The appointment was publicized in Washington January 24, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Robert Francis Vasa was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on May 7, 1951. He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, and Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln on May 22, 1976.
Bishop Vasa holds a Master’s of Divinity from Holy Trinity Seminary and a Canon Law Licentiate from the Gregorian University in Rome.
He served the Diocese of Lincoln in various positions, including chancellor, judicial vicar and vicar general. In 1995 Pope John Paul II named him a “Prelate of Honor” with the title of “Monsignor”. He was appointed bishop of Baker November 19, 1999.
At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Vasa is a member of the Catholic Home Missions Subcommittee and also serves on the Task Force on Health Care.
The Diocese of Santa Rosa in California includes 11,711 square miles. It has a population of 909,361 people, of whom 169,567, or 18.6 percent, are Catholic.
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