The following comes from a Jan. 24 item in the Sacramento Bee.

Bishop Jaime Soto got an assist from the Vatican on Friday when Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Myron Cotta of Fresno as second-in-command of the growing Sacramento Catholic Diocese.

Cotta, who grew up on a dairy farm in Merced County, will officially be ordained auxiliary bishop – or vicar general – on March 25, the festival of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Soto announced at a news conference held Friday at Sacred Heart Parish School in east Sacramento. Cotta, who speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, will help Soto minister to more than 900,000 Catholics spread over 42,000 square miles in 20 counties to the Oregon border.

Cotta, 60, served as a priest in the Fresno Diocese for 26 years, the last 15 as vicar general. For some of that time, he led the more than 1 million Catholics in the diocese while Bishop John Steinbock fought a losing battle with lung cancer, dying in December 2010. Cotta replaces Monsignor James Murphy, who is retiring Jan. 31, as vicar general of the Sacramento Diocese. Murphy has spent 45 years at the diocese, the last five as vicar general.
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