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Vatican approves name change for Winona diocese

Rochester church to become a co-cathedral.

Posted: Mar. 27, 2018 12:16 PM

WINONA, Minn. – The Diocese of Winona is undergoing some changes.

The Catholic Congregation of Bishops has decided to rename it the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and make St. John the Evangelist Church of Rochester a co-cathedral. The Diocese says when it was established in the late-19th century, Winona was a major population center but 75 percent of the diocese’s members now live between Rochester and Mankato and this change reflects that.

“This is a significant moment in our diocese’s history,” said Bishop John M. Quinn of the Vatican’s announcement. “My heart is lifted by this news as I know that the presence of a co-cathedral in Rochester will provide unique ways to share the gospel in our diocese’s fastest growing city.”

The Vatican was first asked in 2015 about designating a co-cathedral in Rochester and a planning committee examined the issue. This move will not change the status of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. The Church says it will continue to be the seat of the diocese and will host diocesan celebrations and Masses, and ordinations.

A liturgical ceremony is scheduled for June 24 at which the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Pope Francis’ delegate to the United States, will formally designate St. John the Evangelist Church as the co-cathedral. During this ceremony, a new cathedra, or bishop’s chair, will be blessed.

The branding of “Diocese of Winona-Rochester” throughout the parishes, schools and diocesan institutions should be completed by July 1, 2018.

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