Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Rojas Appointed Coadjutor of the Diocese of San Bernardino
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Chicago, IL (Dec. 2, 2019) – Pope Francis announced early Monday morning that he has named Bishop Alberto Rojas, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, as the Coadjutor Bishop of San Bernardino, the nation’s fifth largest diocese.
"We congratulate Bishop Alberto Rojas on his appointment to San Bernardino with hearts full of gratitude for all he has done for the Archdiocese of Chicago,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “We will miss this beloved shepherd and know the people of San Bernardino will soon come to appreciate the blessing his appointment will be for their diocese. I am particularly pleased that he will serve with and learn from Bishop Barnes, an outstanding pastor and one of our nation’s most respected bishops."
Bishop Rojas was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and emigrated to the United States in 1993 to complete his seminary formation at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Ill. He was ordained a priest in 1997, working in parish ministry and then as a teacher at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. He was ordained a bishop in 2011, serving first as Episcopal Vicar in Vicariate III and then in Vicariate I. Vicariate I, the largest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, serves more than 500,000 Catholics through its 51 parishes, two missions, two shrines, including the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and other ministries. It covers an area from the north suburbs of Chicago to the Wisconsin border.
“I am grateful to the Holy Father for this appointment and the opportunities it brings to serve God’s People in the Diocese of San Bernardino,” said Bishop Alberto Rojas, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “I look forward to learning about the diocese from Bishop Barnes as Coadjutor and assisting him in this moment of transition.”
“I will be forever grateful to the Archdiocese of Chicago for being my first local mother Church who welcomed me with open arms from the beginning,” added Bishop Rojas “Many thanks to my three great shepherds and spiritual fathers: Cardinal Bernardin, Cardinal George, and now, Cardinal Cupich. Thank you to my brother bishops and priests, deacons, religious sisters, Vicariate teams, pastoral center employees, and all the wonderful people at the parishes. Please keep me in your prayers as I will do for you. Peace and blessings to all.”
Rojas has fulfilled a number of key assignments on national committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including Hispanic Affairs, Liturgy, Catholic Home Missions and, most recently, as lead bishop for Region VII of the V Encuentro, a reflection and dialogue of the U.S. Church on the growing prominence of Hispanics in the Church.
Bishop Rojas is expected to begin his ministry as Coadjutor Bishop and relocate to the Diocese of San Bernardino in February 2020. A Mass of welcome is planned for Feb. 24.