Pope Benedict XVI has named five new bishops for the United States, the largest number of prelates named in a single instance by a Pope during the last 10 years. The new bishops are Bishop Richard Edmund Pates of Des Moines, Bishop Anthony Basil Taylor of Little Rock, Auxiliary Bishop James Douglas Conley of Denver, Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Antonio and Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice of San Francisco.
Editor's Note: An individual story on each bishop can be read by clicking on their name below.
The new bishop of Des Moines has up to now been Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Bishop Richard Edmund Pates was born on February 12, 1943 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After his elementary studies at St. Paul’s Catholic School, he entered the Nazareth Hall minor seminary and later studied theology at the Saint Paul Seminary.
He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1968 at St. Peter’s in Rome. He was rector of the Saint John Vianney Seminary from 1981-1987 and has been a member of the committee on Education of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference.
The new bishop of Little Rock was born on April 24, 1954 in Forth Worth, Texas. He studied at the University of Oklahoma and after two years entered the Archdiocesan Seminary of Oklahoma City. He studied philosophy at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, and in 1976 he was invited to study at the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome. He obtained a doctorate in theology from Fordham University.
He was ordained a priest on August 2, 1980, and has served as Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Church in Oklahoma City and as Parochial Vicar at St. Matthew’s Parish in Elk City, with special focus on serving Hispanic parishioners.
In addition, he has been a member of the Diocesan Finance Council, president of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, member of the Archdiocesan Stewardship Commission and the Saint Gregory University Priests Advisory Council.
The new auxiliary bishop of Denver was born on March 19, 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri. He studied at the University of Kansas, where he obtained a Bachelor’s in English Literature. On December 6, 1975, at the age of 20, he left the Presbyterian church and was baptized at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence. He studied philosophy at St. Pius X Seminary in Erlanger, Kentucky, and theology at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Wichita on May 18, 1985. He has been Parochial Vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Wichita and director of the Respect Life Office. He obtained a degree in Moral Theology from the Alfonsian Academy in Rome. Since August 1, 2006, he has been serving as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wichita.
The new auxiliary bishop of San Antonio was born in December 5, 1966 in Houston, Texas. He entered Holy Trinity Seminary and obtained a degree in English Literature from the University of Dallas in 1989. He studied theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston and obtained a Master’s degree in 1994. He also studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest on May 21, 1994 for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and has served as Parochial Vicar of St. Christopher’s Parish in Houston, Parochial Vicar of St. Cecilia’s Parish in Houston, Parochial Vicar of St. Francis Cabrini’s Parish in Houston, and Holy Name Parish in Houston.
When Bishop-elect Cantú is ordained, he will be the youngest bishop in the U.S. and the ninth youngest in the world.
The new auxiliary bishop of San Francisco was born on May 8, 1942. He obtained a degree in Philosophy and a Master’s in Divinity at St. Patrick’s Seminary. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on May 17, 1968. He later obtained a Master’s in Applied Spirituality from the University of San Francisco. He has served as Parochial Vicar and for several years as Archdiocesan director of the permanent deaconate. He has been pastor at three different parishes and studied Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico.