Rector Named at U.S. National Shrine

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 13, 2005 ( Monsignor Walter Rossi, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, has been appointed as rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

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Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington and chairman of the basilica, announced the appointment, which was unanimously approved by the basilica’s board of trustees.

Monsignor Rossi, 44, has served as associate rector and pilgrimage director at the National Shrine since January 1997.

He had been endorsed by a five-member search committee, established by Cardinal McCarrick in January.

The cardinal had named him acting rector Feb. 19, succeeding Monsignor Michael Bransfield, who was ordained bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, on Feb. 22 after 18 years as rector.

Walter Rossi was ordained a priest Sept. 5, 1987. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton, and conducted his studies for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, New York. He also holds a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The National Shrine is the largest Catholic church in the United States. It annually welcomes more than 750,000 visitors.

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