LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – The Las Cruces Catholic Diocese has a new bishop.
Pope Francis appointed Peter Baldacchino to the position on Wednesday.
“The Lord will surprise us with His grace. He wants me to be part of the work He has begun among His people in this favored area,” the bishop said. “I look forward to the joy that the Lord has planned for us to encounter together.”
Baldacchino is coming to Las Cruces from Miami, where he previously served as the Auxiliary Bishop since 2014. Baldacchino said he didn’t realize he wanted to become a priest until he was 28 years old and was attending an exposition of missionary work with Pope John Paul II.
“Bishop Baldacchino is a wonderful man with the heart of a missionary,” officials with the Archdiocese of Miami told KTSM.
Baldacchino was ordained in 1996. He is only the third person to lead the Las Cruces Diocese.
As KTSM reported, Bishop Oscar Cantu left Las Cruces last year when he was appointed Coadjutor of the Diocese of San Jose, Calif.