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WASHINGTON — Former Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly will be heading to Rome as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The U.S. Senate approved Donnelly for the position in a voice vote Thursday. President Joe Biden nominated Donnelly for the ambassadorship in October.

Donnelly is a Democrat who served six years in the U.S. House from a South Bend-area district before winning election to the Senate in 2012. He lost his 2018 reelection bid to Republican Mike Braun.

Donnelly has bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame, where he has been a part-time professor while also working for the Washington law firm Akin Gump.

Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins called Donnelly “a person of deep Catholic faith and commitment to public service.”

“I am confident that he will serve in this important new role with vision and integrity,” Jenkins said. “It comes as no surprise that there was broad bipartisan support for his confirmation, as he has proven throughout his career that he is committed to building relationships and working across divisions.”

Indiana Republican Sen. Todd Young had endorsed Donnelly’s nomination, saying “he will serve our nation well and represent the best of our Hoosier values.”