The pontiff has appointed a well-known bishop to lead the Minnesota diocese.
Following Pope Francis' acceptance of the resignation of Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, the pontiff has appointed Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles to lead the Minnesota Diocese. Bishop Quinn, who led the Minnesota Diocese for 13 years, is now 76 and by canon law, bishops must hand in their resignation as soon as they hit 75 years of age.
Who Is Bishop Robert Barron?
Bishop Robert Barron is a 62 year old Chicago native who has served as an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles since 2015, Catholic Philly reported. He is the episcopal vicar of the Santa Barbara pastoral region, which is one of the LA Archdiocese's five pastoral regions.
Bishop Barron's appointment to lead the Minnesota Diocese came from the papal nuncio to the U.S. Archbishop Christophe Pierre on Thursday. The bishop, who is also the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, has a massive following on YouTube, where he has amassed 500,000 subscribers. On his channel, he often teaches about faith via talks, interviews, and prayer.
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Bishop Quinn Ready to Turn Over His Responsibilities to Successor
Bishop Quinn expressed how he was "filled with joy" upon learning that Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barron to lead the Minnesota Diocese following his departure. Bishop Barron will be the ninth bishop to lead the 20-county diocese. In a statement, Bishop Quinn said that Bishop Barron's "commitment to evangelization and missionary discipleship will bear great fruit in the coming years."
Meanwhile, Bishop Barron expressed his gratitude and excitement to lead the Minnesota Diocese. The prelate said, "I am overjoyed and humbled to receive this new assignment. I look forward immensely to getting to know the good people, priests and pastoral ministers of the diocese."
"My fondest hope is that I might be a good spiritual father to all the Catholics of southern Minnesota," Bishop Barron added. According to the National Catholic Register, the prelate was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1986. In 1990, he began teaching at the Mundelein Seminary, where he served as the rector from 2012 to 2015.
Bishop Barron has a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from the Institut Catholique de Paris and a master's degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America.
Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez described Bishop Baroon as "a man of prayer, with a fine intellect and a beautiful zeal to spread the love of Jesus Christ." He said he was confident that the bishop would be a "great shepherd" for the Winona-Rochester community.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis welcomed Bishop Barron's appointment and expressed excitement in working together in the state. He admitted that he had "long admired" Bishop Barron's ministry and is "delighted that he would bring his talents and leadership to the Minnesota Diocese.
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