After nearly seven years serving as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, a new chapter in Bishop Robert E. Barron’s ministry as one of the Catholic Church’s most recognizable evangelists began halfway across the country.
On Friday, July 29, the 62-year-old Chicago native was formally installed as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota. The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester was filled with friends, family members, and hundreds of local faithful, along with 25 bishops and cardinals and the more than 100 priests and deacons who were on hand to witness the event.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., was there as the representative of Pope Francis, who appointed Bishop Barron to the post on June 2. His remarks at the Mass gave some insight into the thinking behind the pope’s decision.
“Bishop Barron, you have brought with you an uplifting spirit … and have unveiled yourself to countless people who thirst and hunger to satisfy themselves with the message of the good news,” said Archbishop Pierre.
Citing his episocopal motto “Non Nisi Te Domine,” or “Only you, Lord,” Archbishop Pierre said that the core of Bishop Barron’s ministry of evangelization and preaching has helped countless people want God before anyone or anything else.
“May your witness as a good shepherd, and may your preaching and writing always reflect the same spirit which you communicate to your people,” the nuncio told Bishop Barron
Bishop Barron’s new mission brings him to a diocese with more than 100,000 Catholics in 107 parishes spread across more than 12,000 square miles in southern Minnesota. Winona is home to St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1912, while Rochester is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic. The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, and in 2021 announced a $21.5 million settlement with survivors of sexual abuse as part of a court-ordered reorganization plan.
In his homily, Bishop Barron said that his threefold plan for the members of the diocese was represented by Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, whose feast the Church celebrated that day: to worship God alone; to care for the poor and those whom Jesus loves; and to evangelize others after being “unbound” by Jesus….
The above comes from an Aug. 1 posting in Angelus News.