Spanish-born missionary priest named auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre

Fr Luis Miguel Romero Fernandez M Id who was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre March 3 2020 Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre Fr. Luis Miguel Romero Fernandez, M. Id., who was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre March 3, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Pope Francis Tuesday appointed Spanish-born Idente Missionary Fr. Luis Miguel Romero to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

The bishop-elect is a priest of the Institute Id of Christ the Redeemer religious congregation and has had pastoral and academic assignments around the world.

Since 2014, Romero, 65, has been pastor of Our Lady of Loretto parish in Hempstead, New York. He was recently appointed vicar of Hispanic ministry and evangelization for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

"I receive this appointment, believing that only grace can realize the keys that I received in my vocation: to live and transmit the Gospel with the sacrifice of my life and my reputation, faithful to the greatest testimony of love, to give up my life together with Christ for our Heavenly Father," Romero said March 3.

"I beg Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, for her maternal care in the mission entrusted to me, especially with the vibrant Hispanic community," he said.

Romero will join three other auxiliary bishops serving the Diocese of Rockville Centre with Bishop John O. Barres.

Barres said March 3 that the bishop-elect "is a true intellectual with the 'smell of the sheep.' He is a global churchman who lives the Idente missionary charism in an inspirational way."

"Bishop-elect Romero has an exceptional capacity, with his extensive academic background in religion and science, to address how the truths of the Catholic faith in regard to the Gospel of Life, Catholic Social Justice teaching and the Church's advocacy in history of ethical scientific development need to be brought directly and compellingly into the public square," Barres said.

The Mass of episcopal ordination will take place April 16 at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes.

Romero was born in Palencia, Spain in 1954, growing up in Andalusia. He joined the Idente Missionaries in 1972 and was ordained a priest in Spain in 1981.

The bishop-elect has bachelor's and master's degrees in biology and in philosophy and letters. He also has a doctoral degree in medicine.

His first appointments after ordination were in Spain, Bolivia, and Chile, where he worked in parishes and at universities in pastoral roles.

Romero later also served as a professor at several universities in Spain and South America.

He also spent time at the Idente Missionaries headquarters in Rome and two years in Cochin, India as the provincial superior of Idente Missionaries in India.

He speaks Spanish and English and has familiarity with other languages.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre oversees more than 1.4 million Catholics in two counties on Long Island, New York.

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