TOLEDO — The head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to end the death penalty in the state.

The request comes as Ohio takes steps to carry out an execution in January that would be the state’s first in three years.

Bishop Daniel Thomas has sent a letter to the Republican governor saying the Catholic faith opposes the death penalty and affirms the sacredness of all life.

Thomas says there will be a candlelight prayer vigil next month for abolishing the death penalty.

The Toledo diocese serves 320,000 Catholics in 19 counties across northern Ohio.