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Community meets Bishop Michael Duca ahead of installation ceremony

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BATON ROUGE – Tomorrow the Diocese of Baton Rouge will have a new bishop. Thursday night people had the chance to meet the soon-to-be head of the Catholic Church during an evening prayer service at Saint George Catholic Church.

The church was packed. The pews were filled with those wanting to witness and support Bishop Michael Duca as he takes on the new role he admits will be a bit nerve racking.

“It's a big change in the number of churches, big change in the size of the parishes and size of the schools,” said Bishop Duca.

Bishop Duca is originally from Texas. He’s coming to Baton Rouge from Shreveport where he was the Bishop there for ten years. Among the difference in size, he jokes there’s a difference in traffic, too.

“I think this might be worse traffic than Dallas.”

His first goal is to get to know the community. Before the service, Bishop Duca spent his time meeting the Baton Rouge Police Chief and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff.

“If I get to know people it’s easier to preach to them, and also get to know their struggles and hopefully I can bring some hope and inspiration to them,” he said.

That role is about to begin. Friday at 2 p.m., an installation ceremonial mass will be held at Saint Joseph Cathedral. That’s when he'll officially take the place of Bishop Robert Muench, who has been serving Baton Rouge for the past 16 years.

Muench is retiring at the age of 75.


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