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Former Omaha priest named bishop of Spokane

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Omaha native Bishop Blasé J. Cupich has been named bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Wash.

He replaces Bishop William S. Skyland, whose resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI.

The appointment and resignation were announced June 30 in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Cupich, 61, who has led the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D., since 1998, graduated from Omaha's Ss. Peter and Paul School and Archbishop Ryan High School before being ordained in 1975.

As a priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha, he served at St. Margaret Mary and St. Robert Bellarmine parishes in Omaha, and St. Mary Parish in Bellevue.

Bishop Cupich, also served as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C., and was the president and rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, from 1989 to 1996.

Bishop Skyland, 76, has been a bishop since 1977 and head of the Spokane Diocese since 1990.

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