WASHINGTON (March 14, 2005)—Pope John Paul II has appointed Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Lake Charles, Louisiana, to be bishop of Belleville. He succeeds Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory who was appointed Archbishop of Atlanta last December.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
Edward Braxton was born June 28, 1944 in Chicago. He studied at Loyola University, Niles College, and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Chicago, and the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, where he earned a doctorate. Ordained a priest of the Chicago archdiocese May 13, 1970, he was appointed titular bishop of Macomades Rusticiana and auxiliary bishop of St. Louis on March 28, 1995. On December 12, 2000, he was named bishop of Lake Charles.
The Diocese of Belleville comprises the southernmost part of the state of Illinois. It has a Catholic population of about 104,000 out of a total population of about 846,000.