- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Joseph Kopacz has become the Catholic Diocese of Jackson’s 11th bishop following his ordination and installation.

Several dozen Mississippi priests, 25 fellow bishops from across the nation and the diocese’s 13 seminarians attended Thursday’s installation.

Kopacz replaces Bishop Emeritus Joseph Latino, who retired as bishop in late 2012.

The crowd included Kopacz‘ relatives from Dunmore, Pa., where Kopacz was a priest in the Diocese of Scranton for 37 years.

Appointed by Pope Francis, the 63-year-old Kopacz will lead more than 50,000 Mississippi Catholics spread among 75 parishes and 24 mission churches in 65 counties. Geographically, it’s the largest Catholic diocese east of the Mississippi River.

Archbishop of Mobile Thomas J. Rodi led the ordination and installation ceremonies.

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