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California Bishop Barron chosen by pope as new bishop for Winona-Rochester Catholics

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Southern Minnesota Catholics are getting a new bishop, by way of California. 

Pope Francis has appointed Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Robert Barron as bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. 

Barron is a Chicago native who will replace John Quinn, who has reached the church’s mandatory retirement age for bishops. 

Quinn has been bishop of Winona and Rochester for 13 years, and introduced Barron Thursday at a news conference in Rochester. Barron says he doesn’t mind coming back to Midwestern weather, after six years of serving the Santa Barbara area.  

The Winona-Rochester diocese serves more than 130-thousand Catholics in 20 southern Minnesota counties.

Bishops are expected to retire at age 75, and Quinn turned 76 in December. Barron is 62, and is well-known for hosting a social media program called “Word on Fire.”

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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