Loading
San Bernardino Diocese first in U.S. to have two Hispanic Bishops; reflects changing face of Catholic Church
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On Monday, the Vatican named a Riverside, CA priest to fill the position of auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of San Bernadino--a position which has been empty since 2003. His appointment makes the diocese the only one in the U.S. with two Hispanic bishops, reflecting what is perhaps the changing face of the American Church. Bishop-elect Rutilio J. del Riego, who comes to the diocese from Our Lady of Perpetual Health in Riverside, now becomes one of 23 Hispanic bishops in the U.S., joining Bishop Gerald R. Barnes in ministering to the nearly 1.1 million member diocese--47% of whom are Hispanic.

Humble 64-year old del Riego said at a news conference that, "I have to be absolutely frank: I would not have asked for it…My life is going to change radically, and I was very happy where I was, doing what I was doing."

But, he added, "I believe God is calling me to do this, and so I have no excuse."

The bishop-elect, who holds dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Mexico says that building up future priests will be one of his major goals. He will move into a house near the diocese’ Blessed Junipero Serra House of Formation, which houses 12 seminarians, whom he hopes to spent time with.

A changing face

The San Bernardino Sun quoted Ronaldo Cruz, executive director of the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who said that, "The face of the church is changing. More and more, the Hispanic context is important."

The Sun also cited the Hispanic Churches in American Public Life project, which suggests that about 70 percent of the 41 million Hispanic Americans are Catholic. It also noted however that, although Hispanics account for almost 40 percent of the nation's 67 million Catholics, they only make up about 8 percent of its leadership.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput however, sees much positive growth for Hispanics and the Church.

Speaking at a retreat which gathered prominent Hispanic business leaders in the Colorado mountains last August, the Archbishop reflected that “Denver is 31 percent Hispanic…Colorado is now 17 percent Hispanic.  That’s a 73 percent growth in our Hispanic population in one decade.  All of America is changing, and Latinos will shape the nature of that change.”

But the change can be more far reaching than simply a matter of increasing numbers, suggested the Archbishop: “Hispanics can bring to the table a Catholic sense of family, a Catholic sense of community, a Catholic love for life, generosity and a respect for the dignity of the person.”

He exhorted the leaders to keep that identity at the center of their lives. “American life has lost its soul,” he said. “You can change that.  America needs to change.  Be different.  Remember who you are.  Remember the faith and Catholic understanding of the world that shaped you.  Make your success a success of the soul -- a success for the common good -- and you’ll leave the world a better place than when you entered it.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
22

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14