.- The Vatican announced today that the Most Reverend Jose Gomez, the first auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Denver since 1984, will soon be elevated to Archbishop of San Antonio in Texas. Bishop Gomez has served as auxiliary Bishop of Denver since his appointment in 2001. The 53-year-old Monterrey, Mexico native came to Denver from Texas where he served in both Houston and San Antonio for 14 years.
According to the Archdiocese of Denver, “Bishop Gomez has distinguished himself as a respected national leader among Hispanic priests in the United States. In 1991 Bishop Gomez became a regional representative of the National Association of Hispanic Priests, followed by president in 1995 and then executive director from 1999-2001.”
In 2003, Bishop Gomez was awarded the National Association of Hispanic Priest’s “El Buen Pastor” award for his excellence in Hispanic ministry.
He currently sits on numerous committees in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops including the Committee on Hispanic Affairs, Committee on Doctrine and is chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Spanish Language Bible for the Church in America. In addition, Gomez has served as the leader of the Texas region of Opus Dei, a lay movement in the Church and currently serves as moderator of the curia in the Archdiocese of Denver and pastor of a local parish.
Gomez, who made headlines in Denver in 2001 by becoming the first Hispanic Bishop of Denver, now moves to the 644,357-member Archdiocese of San Antonio which is reported to be almost 90 percent Hispanic.
With his appointment, Gomez succeeds retiring Archbishop Patrick Flores who reached the retirement age of 75 on July 26th.
In a speech Bishop Gomez made this morning at the chancery in San Antonio, he commented that he “is not a stranger here.” He explained that, because of his years in Texas prior to his appointment in Denver and the familial ties of his mother and grandparents to San Antonio, that, “I do know the Church here, because it helped to form me. Coming to San Antonio really is, in a sense, coming home.”