MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) – Pope Francis has named a leader from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., as bishop of the Diocese of Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it was announced Tuesday.

The Rev. John Doerfler now serves as vicar general in the Green Bay diocese. He’s the 13th man to head the Marquette diocese. The appointment was announced Tuesday at St. Peter Cathedral, The Mining Journal reported.

The Diocese of Marquette covers all of upper Michigan, with seven vicariates, 94 parishes and missions and about 48,000 Catholics.

Doerfler, 49, was born in Appleton, Wis., and holds a canon law degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
“My first obligation is to know and love the people, and I will work very hard at that,” he told the newspaper.

He’s being ordained and installed as bishop Feb. 11 at St. Peter Cathedral. He succeeds Alexander Sample, who became archbishop of Portland, Ore., in April.

Doerfler served in St. John Nepomucene Parish in Little Chute, Wis., before attending Catholic University. He then joined the Diocese of Green Bay and served at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.

He said the Upper Peninsula is familiar to him because he has cross-country skied in northern Michigan.

“It’s a beautiful place,” Doerfler said. “I love the outdoors. … For some reason, I no longer think I will be concerned with a lack of snow.”

Doerfler had kind words for Pope Francis, who appointed him.

“There’s very much I admire about him,” Doerfler said. “I’m not sure how much I’m like him, but I’d like to be like him.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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