.- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio of Tyler, Texas as bishop of the Diocese of Mayaguez on Puerto Rico’s west coast.
Bishop Corrada, a Jesuit, was born in the Santurce district of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan on May 13, 1942. He is the seventh of 14 siblings.
He was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Washington in 1985, becoming the first Puerto Rican native to be named a bishop for the U.S. mainland, according to the U.S. bishops’ conference. He served as apostolic administrator of Caguas, Puerto Rico in 1997 and was named Bishop of Tyler in 2000.
Bishop Corrada succeeds Bishop Ulises Aurelio Casiano Vargas, whose retirement-age resignation Pope Benedict has accepted.
The Diocese of Mayaguez has 502,515 people, about 80 percent of whom are Catholic. It has 66 priests, 26 permanent deacons and 132 vowed religious.
Bishop Corrada studied at Jesuit seminaries in Poughkeepsie, New York; Shrub Oak, New York; and New York City. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Fordham University and was ordained a priest in 1974.
After ordination he completed course work for a doctoral degree in theology at the Institut Catholic in Paris. He has taught at Colegio San Ignacio in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and at Xavier High School in New York City.
In the late 1970s he served as a retreat master and director of the marriage renewal movement at Casa Manresa Retreat House in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. He was assistant pastor at Nativity Parish in New York City from 1979 to 1982 and then served as pastoral coordinator of the New York-based Northeast Catholic Hispanic Center from 1982 to 1985.
He has counseled Hispanic inmates at Riker’s Island Prison Center in New York and has served as a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.