Catholic News Service photo
Father Michael Savelesky of the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., pictured in this 2011 photo, has been elected administrator of the diocese by its College of Consultors. Father Savelesky will oversee the operation of the diocese until Pope Francis names a succ essor to Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, who is the new archbishop of Chicago.
Catholic News Service photo
Father Michael Savelesky of the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., pictured in this 2011 photo, has been elected administrator of the diocese by its College of Consultors. Father Savelesky will oversee the operation of the diocese until Pope Francis names a succ essor to Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, who is the new archbishop of Chicago.

SPOKANE, Washington — A priest who has served in several high-level capacities has been elected administrator of the Diocese of Spokane by its College of Consultors.

Father Michael Savelesky will oversee the operation of the diocese until Pope Francis names a successor to Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, who became archbishop of Chicago Nov. 18.

Under canon law, a diocese can convene a College of Consultors to elect a diocesan administrator when a bishop or archbishop has left office and no successor has been named.

In Spokane, seven priests selected by Archbishop Cupich from the diocesan Presbyteral Council served on the College of Consultors. They elected Father Savelesky Nov. 20.

After accepting his election as administrator, Father Savelesky made a profession of faith in the presence of the College of Consultors, as canon law requires.

An administrator exercises the administrative authority of a diocesan bishop, but is prohibited from undertaking actions that would be detrimental to the governance of the new bishop. An administrator cannot initiate new policies, programs or ministries, nor substantially alter existing ones.

Father Savelesky serves as the diocese's moderator of the curia and as the pastor of parishes in Rosalia and St. John, and administrator of a parish in Cheney.

He previously served as director of deacon formation; rector of Bishop White Seminary; vicar general for internal matters at the diocese; editor of the diocesan newspaper, the Inland Register; and pastor of two parishes in Walla Walla and two in Spokane.