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VICTORIA, Kan. -- Bishop Edward Weisenburger received the news from the Vatican earlier this month that the diocese's application to name St. Fidelis Church in Victoria, Kan., a minor basilica had been granted.
"This is a great day for the people of Victoria but an equally great day for the people of the Diocese of Salina," the bishop said. "St. Fidelis Church has long been a place of pilgrimage and prayer. Indeed, many have been drawn to the mystery and love of God by spending time in this inspiring church."
It took him about six months to complete the application, which then was sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for its approval. By September 2013, it was on its way to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the Vatican.
The 141-foot twin towers at the St. Fidelis Church, or "Church of the Plains," are easily seen from nearby Interstate 70, and about 16,000 people visit it each year.
Weisenburger will dedicate the church as a minor basilica on June 7.
The Hays Post contributed to this report.