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Statement of Cardinal William H. Keeler on Appointment of New Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston

In the person of Bishop-elect Michael J. Bransfield, the Holy Father has given a wonderful Christmas present to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

The new bishop will bring many gifts to his role as shepherd of God’s people. His service as Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington has offered him opportunities to hone administrative skills. In addition, especially through ministering to the thousands of pilgrims to the Shrine, Bishop-elect Bransfield has shown great pastoral sensitivity and effectiveness.

I have known Bishop-elect Bransfield for some 20 years and rejoice in this recognition of his abilities and wish him well in his new office.

                         Cardinal William H. Keeler
                         Archbishop of Baltimore