The Vatican has announced that Msgr. Myron Joseph Cotta of Fresno has been assigned as the new auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Sacramento, Calif.

"I am humbled by the faith the Holy Father and the papal nuncio have placed in me," said Bishop-designate Cotta in a Jan. 24 press release announcing his appointment.

"As I prepare to leave the Diocese of Fresno, I thank God for the call to the episcopacy and for the many blessings I have experienced over 26 years of ordained priesthood among God's people."

The Bishop-designate currently serves as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Fresno, a position he has held for the past 15 years. In addition, he served as diocesan administrator of Fresno following the death of Bishop John Steinbock in December 2010, and prior to the appointment of Bishop Armando Ochoa.

Born on March 21, 1953, Bishop-designate Cotta grew up on a dairy farm in the Merced County community of Dos Palos. His grandparents were Portuguese immigrants from the Azores Island of Terceira.

He attended both public and Catholic elementary schools, and received an associate degree from West Hills Community College in Coalinga.

The bishop-designate attended the seminary of St. John's in Camarillo, Calif., was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 12, 1987, holding a bachelor's degree and a Master's of Divinity degree.

His previous pastoral assignments include serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony Parish in Atwater (1987-1989); administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Laton (1989-1992); and pastor of Our Lady of Miracles Parish in Gustine (1992-1999).

Bishop-designate Cotta speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish. In addition to his duties as Auxiliary Bishop, he will also serve as Vicar General for the Diocese of Sacramento.

In the press release announcing the appointment, Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto stated that "I am grateful to His Holiness for giving me a faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus as an able co-worker in this favored part of his vineyard."

"Bishop-designate Cotta is a son of the Central Valley. He knows our people, he knows our land and mountains, but, most of all, he knows the Lord Jesus and is eager to share the Lord's wisdom and charity with others."

The episcopal ordination for Bishop-designate Cotta will take place Tuesday, March 25, in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento, on the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.