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Louisiana Bishop Shelton Joseph Fabre has been appointed as the archbishop-designate to the Archdiocese of Louisville by Pope Francis. 

Fabre will succeed current Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, who tendered his resignation from the position on his 75th birthday in August, as is customary.

Kurtz was appointed to the archbishop position in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. He will retain the title even after he leaves the position. 

“I am delighted to welcome Archbishop-designate Shelton, whom I have admired and called friend for the past 15 years,” Kurtz said in a statement announcing the appointment.

Fabre, pronounced like “fob,” was ordained as a priest in Louisiana in 1989. He is currently bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. 

In his new role, Fabre will go from leading a diocese made up of nearly 40 churches, a dozen Catholic schools and a congregation of about 90,000 people, to the Archdiocese of Louisville’s 24 counties and Catholic population of more than 200,000.

Fabre is an outspoken advocate against racism. He spoke to Louisville religious leaders following the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of Louisville Metro Police Department officers.

He continued his anti-racism work when George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police. 

He is also the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism which composed “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.”

With his appointment, Fabre becomes Louisville’s first Black archbishop and only the second Black archbishop in the United States.

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.