Union Democrat staff

The Diocese of Stockton announced this week that Pope Francis appointed Bishop Myron Cotta to succeed Bishop Stephen Blaire as Bishop of Stockton.

Blaire submitted his resignation to the Holy Father when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on Dec. 22.

Cotta was born of Portuguese heritage in the Merced County community of Dos Palos on March 21, 1953. He served as Vicar General in the Diocese of Fresno, where he was a priest, and most recently served as Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Sacramento.

Bishop Cotta will be installed as the sixth bishop of the Diocese on Mavrch 15. Until that date, Bishop Blaire will serve as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.

The Diocese of Stockton covers more than 10,000 square miles covering San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mono and Alpine counties with a Catholic population of more than 300,000.