Newly appointed St. Cloud bishop an SJU and SOT graduate

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September 20, 2013

Donald KettlerNewly appointed St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler is a graduate of Saint John's University and Saint John's School of Theology•Seminary.

Kettler, who was appointed by Pope Francis on Friday, Sept. 20 at the Vatican, was the Bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska. He succeeds St. Cloud Bishop John Kinney.

Kettler received a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a minor in psychology in 1966 from SJU.

"We were delighted to learn that Donald Kettler has been appointed bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese. We look forward to welcoming him back to the community and working with him in the coming years," SJU President Michael Hemesath said. "Additionally, I want to recognize Bishop Kinney for his long and dedicated service to the diocese and to the church. We are grateful for his leadership, devotion and pastoral care."

Kettler received a master's of divinity degree from the School of Theology•Seminary in May, 1970.

"The Saint John's School of Theology•Seminary is thrilled that Pope Francis has appointed a man of such broad pastoral background and experience to our diocese," said the Rev. Michael Patella, rector of Saint John's School of Theology•Seminary. "That Bishop Donald Kettler is an alumnus of both Saint John's University and its School of Theology•Seminary is truly an honor for us and the Diocese of St. Cloud."

Kettler was born in Minneapolis, although his family moved to Sioux Falls, S.D., at an early age. He attended Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn., before coming to SJU, and was ordained to the priesthood May 29, 1970.

Starting in 1981, he attended The Catholic University of America for two years and received his licentiate degree in canon law. Kettler was the judicial vicar for the Sioux Falls Diocese.

He served as associate pastor, pastor and rector of parishes in Aberdeen, S.D., and Sioux Falls. He also celebrated the TV mass in Sioux Falls before becoming the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks on Aug. 22, 2002.