Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Stockton, California, and has named Auxiliary Bishop Myron Cotta as his successor, up until now the Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento. 

Bishop Myron Joseph Cotta was born on March 21, 1953 in Dos Palos, California. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, 1980-1987, receiving a bachelor’s degree and master of divinity degree. 

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Fresno, California, on September 12, 1987. Parish assignments included: Parochial vicar, St. Anthony, Atwater (1987-1989); administrator of the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Laton (1989-1992); and pastor of Our Lady of Miracles, Gustine (1994); as well as administrator, Holy Rosary Parish, Hilmar (1994). 

Since 1996, he has served on the board of trustees, priest’s retirement board and personnel board. Since 1999, his duties have included vicar general, moderator of the curia, board of consultors, vicar of clergy, director of continuing formation of the clergy, director of the Propagation of the Faith, director of pastoral support of the priests sensitive claims board, member of the diocesan finance council, and supervisor of the safe environment program. 

He was named a chaplain to his holiness (monsignor) in 2002 and a prelate of honor in 2009. Upon the death of Bishop John Steinbock of Fresno on Dec. 5, 2010, Bishop Cotta was elected by the Diocesan College of Consultors as the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Fresno. He served as administrator from Dec. 7, 2010 until Feb. 1, 2012, when Bishop Armando Ochoa assumed leadership of the Diocese of Fresno. 

On January 24, 2014 Pope Francis appointed Cotta as the fifth Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, and he was ordained a bishop on March 25, 2014. 

Full story at USCCB website.


In the 1/19/18 “Friday Update” on the Stockton diocese website, the following prayer intention was included: “As a reminder, all parishes are encouraged to continue praying for Bishop Blaire’s health and recovery during the General Intercessions at Mass.” No further details regarding his health were mentioned.