WICHITA — Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita to be the new bishop for the Diocese of Dodge City.
The Rev. John Brungardt succeeds Bishop Ronald Gilmore, whose resignation was accepted by the pope.
Brungardt, 52, said he was humbled by the appointment.
"With trust in God, I hope to be a good shepherd to the people of southwest Kansas, from Odin to Elkhart, from Tribune to Kiowa," he said in a prepared statement.
"Building on the foundation of Bishop Gilmore and his predecessors, the priests, religious, and laity, I hope to carry on the mission of spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to the people of the diocese."
Along with his duties as chancellor, Brungardt is the pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in St. Mark.
Gilmore has served as bishop of the Dodge City diocese since July 16, 1998. He plans to remain in Dodge City.
Ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1998, by Bishop Eugene Gerber at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, Brungardt has served the Wichita diocese for the past 12 years.
Wichita Bishop Michael Jackels said Pope Benedict XVI "really knows how to pick them, for he has chosen one of the exemplary priests of the Diocese of Wichita.
"We are happy to share with others God's gifts to us, but we will still feel the loss. We will miss him and his ministry.
"The people of southwestern Kansas are getting one of our best, a real gem of a priest."