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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Pope Francis has appointed a Malta-born priest as the new head of the Diocese of Las Cruces.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the Vatican announced this week Francis named Peter Baldacchino as Las Cruces bishop.

Baldacchino replaces Bishop Oscar Cantú who was reassigned as the coadjutor bishop of San Jose, California in September 2018.

Baldacchino was formerly the auxiliary bishop of Miami.

After ordination to the priesthood, he served for three years as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

His installation as the third Bishop of Las Cruces will take place on July 23.

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The Las Cruces Diocese serves all of southern New Mexico.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com

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