SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP)- Preparations are underway for the installation of a new Bishop in western Massachusetts.
Bishop Mitchell Rozanski will officially be installed as the ninth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield on Tuesday during a mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral at 2 p.m.
Pope Francis appointed the 56-year-old Bishop Rozanski in June to become the leader of the Springfield Diocese which was founded in 1870. The diocese has 230,000 Catholics in 81 parishes which span across all four western Massachusetts counties.
Rozanski will succeed Bishop Timothy McDonnell who announced his retirement in December at the age of 75, as required by canon law.
McDonnell has been Springfield’s Bishop since 2004.
Bishop Rozanski had been serving as an auxilary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Rozanski has already participated in daily mass in Springfield and has met with churchgoers to get an idea of their expectations from their new spiritual leader.
Bishop Rozanski has said he intends to try and tackle community issues like low enrollment in churches and schools.
Rozanski will be the first Polish-American bishop of the Springfield Diocese.
Rozanski was ordained in 1984 and served as a parish priest for 20 years before being named bishop in 2004.
After the installation at St. Michael’s Cathedral there will be a public reception at the Eastern States Exposition, Better Living Center in West Springfield at 5 p.m.