Diocese of Springfield ready to welcome new bishop

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield will be officially installed in a public ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski is the ninth person to lead the diocese since its establishment in 1870.

The diocese has about 230,000 Catholics in 81 parishes, which span across all four western Massachusetts counties. Rozanski succeeds Bishop Timothy McDonnell, who has served the Springfield Diocese since 2004.

A Mass for the installation of Bishop Rozanski will be held at St. Michael’s Cathedral on State Street at 2:00 P.M. About 1,000 people are expected to fill the cathedral to witness the installation, and many more parishioners are expected to gather outside.

During the Mass, Monsignor Christopher Connelly will present Bishop Rozanski with a crucifix to venerate and holy water to sprinkle on himself and those who gather to welcome him. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States (essentially the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S), is expected to read the Apostolic Letter of Appointment naming Bishop Rozanski as the ninth bishop of Springfield.

After the installation, there will be a public reception at the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield at 5:00 P.M.

22News spoke with Bishop Rozanski last week as he was preparing for Tuesday’s Mass. He said that his family would be coming up from Baltimore to be with him. But he says he’s most looking forward to meeting his new neighbors.

“I’ve received already many invitations to attend so many different masses and parish events, so I’m trying to pace the schedule so I can be out to as many places as possible to meet as many people as possible,” Rozanski said.

22News anchor Rich Tettemer will have live coverage of the installation Mass, which you can watch on 22News beginning at 2:00 P.M. The ceremony will also be streamed live here on WWLP.com.

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