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DENVER — The Vatican announced Tuesday that Samuel Aquila will be taking over as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver.

Aquila, 62, has been serving as the bishop of Fargo, North Dakota.

He is from Burbank, California but he has ties to Denver. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in Denver in 1976, and he held several positions in the Denver archdiocese until 1999.

He served as director for the Office of Liturgy and Master of Ceremonies in the Denver archdiocese from 1990 until 1995.

He then served as the first Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver and chief executive officer of Our Lady of the New Advent Theological Institute. In 2000, he was named a monsignor by Pope John Paul II.

He served as bishop for Fargo for 11 years.

“I am overwhelmed,” says Archbishop Aquila at a press conference Tuesday morning. “When I left Denver I never imagined for a moment that I would one day be here returning as your Archbishop.”

He says returning God and Gospel to the public spotlight is a priority.

“I believe as Catholics and Christians while being respectful we must also keep the place of God and recognize that we need to bring God into the public square.”

The Catholic community of nearly 550,000 in the Denver area has been in search for a new leader since the post was left vacant by Archbishop Charles Chaput in August. 

Aquila will be installed as leader of the Denver archdiocese on July 18 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.