Pope Francis has named Father J, 63, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton and pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania, as bishop of Jackson, Mississippi, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Latino,76, from the pastoral governance of the Jackson diocese.
Bishop-elect Kopacz was born September 16, 1950, in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, and ordained a priest for the Scranton diocese on May 7, 1977. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Scranton; a master’s degree in Latin from Fordham University; a master’s degree in theology from Christ the King Seminary, Buffalo; a master’s degree in counseling and psychology from Marywood University, Scranton, and a Ph.D. in human development from Marywood University.
Assignments after ordination included 1977-1979, parochial vicar, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, in Brodheadsville, and Epiphany Parish in Sayre, Pennsylvania, and administrator of St. Patrick’s Parish in Nicholson, Pennsylvania; 1980-1990, teacher, St. Pius X Seminary; 1989-1995, pastor, St. Michael, St. James, and St. Stanislaus parishes, Jessup, Pennsylvania; 1995-1998, pastor, Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Scranton; 1998-2002, director of formation, St. Pius X Seminary; 2002-2006, pastor, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Parish, Scranton; 2005-2009, vicar for clergy and vicar general , Scranton Diocese; and 2006-present, pastor, Most Holy Trinity.
The Jackson diocese includes 37,643 square miles across 65 counties in Mississippi. It has a population of 2,111,593 people, with 47,724, or two percent of them, Catholic.