Pope Francis announced from the Vatican on Thursday he has named The Most Rev. Steven Biegler as the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne, according to a news release.

Bishop-elect Biegler is pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D.

Biegler, 57, is also the Vicar General for the diocese.

There are about 55,000 Catholics in the state and 72 parishes and missions in the diocese, which covers the geographical area of Wyoming.

According to the website of the Diocese of Rapid City, Biegler grew up in Timber Lake, S.D.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1993, His parish assignments included parochial vicar, administrator or pastor at parishes in Rapid City, Bonesteel, Fairfax, Ponca Creek, McLaughlin, Kenel, Wakpala, McIntosh, Bullhead, Watauga and Hermosa.

He has served as the Chaplain for the Rapid City Catholic Schools and the Newman Club at South Dakota State University.

Biegler studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn

He replaces Bishop Paul Etienne, named by the pope to be the fourth Archbishop of Anchorage in October.

Etienne was named bishop of the Cheyenne diocese in 2009.

After the announcement of Etienne's appointment, diocesan spokesman Deacon Mike Leman of Holy Trinity Church in Cheyenne said a group of priests in the diocese would select a diocesan administrator until the pope names a new bishop for Wyoming.

That process could take a year, Leman said at the time.

The process took half that time.

The Installation Mass for Bishop Biegler will be held June 5.

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