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WASHINGTON (September 16, 2010) —Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Joliet, Illinois, 58, to succeed Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle, 76. At the same time, the pope accepted Archbishop Brunett’s resignation from the pastoral governance of the Seattle Archdiocese.
The appointment and resignation were publicized in Washington, September 16, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
James Peter Sartain was born in Memphis June 6, 1952. He attended local Catholic elementary and secondary schools. He studied for the priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary, in Indiana, and completed his studies at the North American College, in Rome, where he attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (The Angelicum). He was ordained a priest for the Memphis Diocese in 1978.
In the Memphis Diocese he served as director of vocations, secretary for priests and deacons, vicar for temporal administration and for clergy personnel, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, and vicar general. He was appointed Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2000, and Bishop of Joliet, in 2006.
Archbishop Brunett, a Detroit native, studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, the University of Detroit, and Marquette University, Milwaukee. He was ordained a priest for the Detroit Archdiocese in 1958.
He worked in ecumenical relations and was co-founder and first president of the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies in Detroit and is a past president of the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers.
He was appointed bishop of Helena, Montana in 1994, and archbishop of Seattle in 1997.
Seattle was established as a diocese in 1850, and created an archdiocese in 1951. It comprises 28,731 square miles of the State of Washington. It has a population of 5,202,500 people, with 579,500, or 11 percent, of them Catholic.
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