Bishop Barron is moving to Minnesota and hopes to be a ‘good spiritual father’ to his new flock – The Catholic Leader

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

LOS Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron said he was “overjoyed and humbled” to be named to Winona-Rochester diocese in Minnesota but he would have to brush off his Chicago winter coat after six years in Santa Barbara.

Bishop Barron is moving to Minnesota and hopes to be a ‘good spiritual father’ to his new flock – The Catholic Leader

Bishop Barron is moving to Minnesota and hopes to be a ‘good spiritual father’ to his new flock

New appointment: Bishop Robert Barron will be moving to Minnesota for a new appointment. Photo: CNS

LOS Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron said he was “overjoyed and humbled” to be named to Winona-Rochester diocese in Minnesota but he would have to brush off his Chicago winter coat after six years in Santa Barbara.

Retiring Winona-Rochester Bishop John Quinn said he was “filled with joy” that Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barron as his successor and the ninth bishop to head the 20-county diocese. 

“His commitment to evangelisation and missionary discipleship will bear great fruit in the coming years,” he said.

The diocese would be a new challenge for Bishop Barron, the Chicago-born founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, who has not been the ordinary of a diocese before.

“My fondest hope is that I might be a good spiritual father to all the Catholics of southern Minnesota,” Bishop Barron said.

“The bishop of a diocese is, first and foremost, a spiritual father to the priests and people who have been entrusted to his care.

“My prayer this morning is that the Lord will give me the grace always to be a good father.”

Faith and society: Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron gives the homily at St Louis Cathedral in New during the Red Mass of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Photo: CNS

As Pope Francis “often teaches,” he said, a bishop was “a shepherd with the smell of the sheep — out in front of the flock in one sense, leading the way, but also with the flock, giving encouragement, and in back of the flock in order to gather in those who have fallen behind”.

He also prayed “for the grace to be just that kind of shepherd”.

Winona-Rochester diocese has its own share of challenges.

It has fought through fires, floods, mudslides and COVID in recent years, outgoing Bishop Quinn said.

Winona-Rochester diocese also filed for bankruptcy in 2018 while facing more than 100 claims of clerical sex abuse. 

Bishop Quinn said in 2018 that a total of 17 priests in the diocese had been accused of abuse.

One of the most well-known bishops in the United States, Bishop Barron has over 500,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel where he teaches about the faith through talks, interviews, and prayer.

At the last US bishops’ meeting in November, Bishop Barron was voted to lead the US bishop’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

Bishop Barron, 62, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1986. 

Six years later, he began teaching at the archdiocese’s Mundelein Seminary, where he served as the rector from 2012 to 2015.

In 2015, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barron as an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, where Barron continued his work with the Word on Fire apostolate.

He holds a Doctorate of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic Institute of Paris and a master’s degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America.

The Mass of installation for Bishop Barron would be celebrated on July 29.

Leave a Reply