One on one with Bishop Weisenburger, soon to be leader of Catholic Diocese of Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Final preparations are underway for a historic event happening in Southern Arizona.

On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson will install its seventh new leader – Bishop Edward Weisenburger.

KOLD News 13 will livestream the event on our website and Facebook page. The coverage is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

We spoke to Weisenburger for an exclusive interview ahead of the installation ceremony.

The Vatican made the announcement that Pope Francis had appointed a new bishop and accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerald Kicanas in early October.

READ MORE: Bishop Kicanas reflects on time in Southern Arizona

Since then, Bishop Weisenburger has been overseeing his diocese in Salina, Kansas, while trying to learn about the new one he will soon take over.

Bishop Weisenburger, who is also a canon lawyer, said he first wants to learn about the community, the parishes and its people.

"I would especially be grateful if I could look back on my life and think that the poor were cared for a little bit more," Weisenburger said. "That immigrants were appreciated a little bit better. That elderly people who were alone found some companionship. That children who were at risk found a home. I think those are the things that our savior very much wanted us to work on and I want to be a part of that."

Bishop Weisenburger also speaks some Spanish, something that will be helpful in a Diocese that covers all of Arizona's border with Mexico.

He said he's been monitoring the issues faced along the border closely. Including the uncertain future for people living in the United States either under DACA or temporary protected status.

He also wants to see the church grow even more and one of his goals is to see how the Diocese can call forward more men to join the priesthood. Bishop Weisenburger served as a priest for nearly 25 years in Oklahoma before being appointed Bishop of Salina.

When asked what he hopes his legacy will be here he answered, "Having done no harm."

"I hope that one day I will be able to look back hopefully in my long retirement and say the kingdom of God came forward a little bit more," he said.

Friends, family and about 25 fellow bishops will be in Tucson to celebrate as Bishop Weisenburger officially takes command of the Diocese of Tucson on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, a special evening prayer Vespers Service was held at the St. Augustine Cathedral.

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