Amid an appointment from Pope John Paul II this morning to become Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Bishop Jose Gomez of Denver gave an emotional farewell in his weekly column in today’s Denver Catholic Register.
Bishop Gomez thanked the people of the Archdiocese of Denver for their generosity, simplicity, devotion and love for the Church.” He remarked in the column that he’d “been evangelized again and again” by those he’d met across the Archdiocese.
Gomez will become Archbishop of San Antonio, succeeding Archbishop Patrick Flores who reached the episcopal retirement age of 75 in July.
Although he expressed sadness at leaving Denver, he now looks forward with “gratitude and excitement” to his new appointment in San Antonio. Gomez stated that he “had always been struck by the greatness of the Catholic community in San Antonio, nourished by a rich ecclesial history, and always pressing forward to a promising future.” The new Archbishop has deep roots in San Antonio where he spent a number of years before coming to Denver in 2001. It is, according to Gomez, “a city where my mother-now in heaven-grew up and where the Lord led me to spend my first years as a priest in the United States.”
In a speech Gomez delivered in San Antonio this morning, he thanked Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver for, “teaching me how to be a bishop with the example if his humor, patience, and tremendous love for the Church.” He continued, “ I’ll always be grateful to the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Denver, who prepared me for this new life I begin today.”