WASHINGTON (OSV News) – Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul J. Bradley of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has appointed as his successor Msgr. Edward M. Lohse, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Bishop Bradley, 77, has headed the Kalamazoo Diocese since 2009. Bishop-designate Lohse, 61, also is pastor of St. Julia Parish in Erie. He was ordained a priest for the Erie Diocese in 1989 and named a monsignor in 2015.

The changes were publicized in Washington May 23 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate Lohse will be ordained and installed at the Cathedral of St. Augustine in Kalamazoo July 25. He will become the fifth bishop of Kalamazoo.

“With thanksgiving to our loving God and with deep gratitude to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, our diocese’s wait for our new shepherd has yielded a wonderful gift” in the appointment of the Erie priest as the southwest Michigan diocese’s new shepherd, Bishop Bradley said in a statement. “We welcome him with open arms and hearts filled with joy. May he walk with us, teaching us and leading us in the ways of hope-filled disciples of our risen Lord.”

Bishop Bradley turned 75 Oct. 18, 2020, and submitted his resignation to the pope as required by canon law. Until his successor’s ordination, he will continue as apostolic administrator.

“As a diocese, we rejoice at this honor for one of our fine priests,” Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico. “It is a testament to the clergy of the Diocese of Erie. Although it is difficult to lose one of our priests, who has served with great faith, wisdom and hope, we rejoice with the church of Kalamazoo on their new shepherd.”

The nine-county Diocese of Kalamazoo is in southwest Michigan. It covers just over 5,300 square miles and has a Catholic population of about 77,800 Catholics out of a total population of 966,198.