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Update: Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Rojas named coadjutor for San Bernardino

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Update: Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Rojas named coadjutor for San Bernardino

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Alberto Rojas, who has been an auxiliary bishop of the Chicago Archdiocese since 2011, as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino, California.

The appointment was announced in Washington Dec. 2 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Gerald R. Barnes, 74, heads the San Bernardino Diocese. He turns 75 next June, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn their resignation into the pope. As coadjutor, the 54-year-old Bishop Rojas automatically becomes head of the diocese upon Bishop Barnes’ retirement or death.

Born Jan. 5, 1965, in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Alberto Rojas studied for the priesthood at St. Maria de Guadalupe Seminary in Aguascalientes and at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1997.

After his ordination, then-Father Rojas served as associate pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish, from 1997 to 1999, as associate pastor of St. Ita Parish, 1999 to 2002. Both parishes are in Chicago. Then he was named pastor of Chicago’s Good Shepherd Parish, a post he held until Pope Benedict XVI named him a Chicago auxiliary June 13, 2011.

He also was on the seminarian formation faculty of Mundelein Seminary from 2002 to 2009.

He was ordained a bishop Aug. 10, 2011, to serve under Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago. He chose the phrase “God’s love is all we need” as his episcopal motto, because the love Christ “gives to all his children is all that any of us need to achieve eternal life.”

As an auxiliary Bishop Rojas has been episcopal vicar for the archdiocese’s Vicariate I.

The Diocese of San Bernardino was founded July 14, 1978, and comprises San Bernardino and Riverside counties. It has 91 parishes, seven missions and five chapels in its territory, and it is considered a home mission diocese; its cathedral is Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral in San Bernardino.

The San Bernardino Diocese has over 1.7 million Catholics out of a total population of over 4.5 million.


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