Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  This will be a big weekend for Catholics in southern Minnesota and especially a Rochester church.

It was announced earlier this year the Vatican had approved the designation of St. John the Evangelist Church in downtown Rochester as a co-cathedral. The designation is part of the renaming of the Diocese of Winona, which includes Catholic churches across southern Minnesota. It is now known as the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Diocese Bishop John Quinn says the change was made in large part because of the large population growth in Rochester.

A special liturgical ceremony is scheduled for Sunday at St. John’s. The Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Pope Francis’ delegate to the United States, will formally designate the church as the co-cathedral. Also, a new cathedra, or bishop’s chair, will be blessed. The chair - which was installed earlier this month - will be used only by the bishop.

Cathedra or the Bishop’s Chair at St John's Church - Kim David, Townsquare Media

Top church officials from the region are expected to attend the Sunday evening service, including the Archbishop of the Twin Cities Archdiocese. Also invited are city leaders and others. Every parish in the diocese is expected to be represented at the event.

The diocese says there are only 16 co-cathedrals in the country.

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