The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has accepted the resignation offered by Bishop Raphael M. Fliss due to his reaching the canonical age of retirement and named a new bishop for the Diocese of Superior. Bishop-elect Peter F. Christensen will take the helm of the northern-Wisconsin diocese after serving for 22 years as a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.
The 54 year-old Bishop-elect of Superior was born in Pasadena, California, but moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1975. After obtaining his undergraduate degree in art history from the University of St. Thomas, Christensen worked as a commercial artist for several years before entering the seminary in 1981.
Bishop-elect Christensen has served in several capacities within the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, acting as a spiritual director and rector at St. John Vianney Seminary and serving most recently as Pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish in St. Paul.
Bishop Fliss, who will turn 77 in October, began serving as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Superior 1979 and became the diocese’s ordinary in June of 1985. According to Vatican statistics, Fliss will hand off a diocese of some 81,885 Catholics, 71 priests, 57 permanent deacons, and 104 religious.