The following comes from a November 19 Ventura County Star article by Tom Kisken:

Bishop Robert Barron’s tweets flutter to 81,400 followers.

His Facebook posts zip to more than 682,480 people.

More than 14 million people have clicked into at least one of his YouTube videos.

On Saturday, the bishop hand-picked by Pope Francis will be installed as episcopal vicar, cementing the role he has already started overseeing 37 parishes and more than 1 million Catholics in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The Mass at Mission San Buenaventura will also be used to celebrate the September canonization of Junípero Serra, who founded nine California missions.

Much of his visibility stems from Word on Fire, his online ministry of videos, study programs and blogged essays. Four years ago, Barron and Word on Fire released a 10-part DVD series, “Catholicism,” exploring tenets of the faith in 50 locations in 15 countries.

There has been speculation Barron was assigned to a smaller piece of Archbishop José Gomez’s 288-parish archdiocese with the idea it would enable him to continue Word on Fire.

“Absolutely, I want him to continue his ministry because I think it’s very effective,” Gomez said in a phone interview, asserting the Santa Barbara and Ventura region will benefit from the bishop’s energy.

Meeks said Barron’s assignment makes sense because of the growing focus on digital media in the archdiocese.

“The goal is really to change the way the global church communicates, starting in Los Angeles,” he said.


Birthtown: Chicago

Last position: Rector of University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, outside Chicago

On Twitter: @BishopBarron

On Facebook:

On YouTube:

Serra Mass: Barron will be installed as episcopal vicar during a Mass celebratingSaint Junípero

Serra, 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Mission San Buenaventura, 211 E. Main St., Ventura. Seating in the mission sanctuary is filled. Overflow seating will be available in the adjacent O’Brien Hall. For information, call 643-4318 or go to