Leading Advocate of Evangelisation Appointed as Aux Bishop to the Belly of the Beast!
It's really not often that someone as high profile and well known as Fr. Robert Barron seems to be appointed to the episcopate. This morning, however, brought an announcement from Word on Fire that this had actually taken place.
Fr Robert Barron has been named as one of three new auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis. Hollyweird- the belly of the beast!
On his Facebook page, Fr. Robert posted:
Friends, Pope Francis has appointed me auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. You can read my full reaction at the link below. Please pray for me and be assured that the mission of my Word on Fire apostolate will continue, and with the Lord's grace, not just continue, but also flourish and grow. Christ's peace be with all of you!Fr. Robert is well known for his strong commitment to evangelisation, he is the founder of the “global media ministry” Word on Fire, which produces programmes for WGN America, EWTN, Relevant Radio and YouTube. He is currently also the rector of the University of St Mary and Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. He is also the author of the Catholicism series (which I ran in my parish a while back), a wonderful introduction to the complexity and beauty of the Catholic faith. Fr. Robert is a tireless evangelist on the internet, engaging with all comers on Youtube, defending the faith and inspiring people of no faith and mediocre faith. If you click on my Protestantism and Authority page, you will see a video by him and there are literally hundreds more on almost any conceivable subject from The Grey to the New Atheists on his Youtube channel. I was actually privileged to meet him at Heythrop a few years ago when he launched Catholicism.
Writing on Word on Fire, Fr Barron said the appointment came as “an enormous surprise”.
“It is with a humble and joyful heart that I accept it. The Church of Los Angeles—the most populous in the United States—is energetic, diverse, and creative,” he wrote.
“The late Francis Cardinal George—the spiritual grandfather of Word on Fire—was a mentor and friend to me. The mission closest to his heart was the evangelisation of the culture, bringing Christ to the arenas of media, politics, law, education, the arts, etc. I can’t think of a more exciting field for this sort of work than Los Angeles, which is certainly one of the great cultural centers of our time.”
Addressing inevitable concerns about the valuable work he is engaged with at Word on Fire, Fr. Robert went on:
Many might be wondering what this means for the important work of Word on Fire. The short answer is that it will certainly continue! Through the ministrations of Fr. Steve Grunow and his extremely gifted staff, we will keep bringing you my regular articles, sermons, videos, and media resources.
We have so many projects in the works, including our new film and study program on God and atheism, titled The Mystery of God, and our beautiful new documentary seriesCATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players. Those projects will continue as planned with more to come in the future.
I am grateful to all of you who follow and support Word on Fire, using our content to form yourselves and share the Catholic Faith. I thank God each and every day for you.
It is a blessing for me to work with you to introduce people to Jesus Christ and invite them to share all the gifts he wants his people to enjoy.
Please pray for me as I begin this new adventure under the Lord’s providence.
- Bishop-Elect Robert Barron
Mgr Joseph Brennan, the vicar general and moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Irish-born Mgr David O’Connell, pastor of Saint Michael Parish in Los Angeles,have also been made auxiliary bishops.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Gerald Wilkerson, who has now reached retirement age.
The press conference introducing Fr. Robert and the other new auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will begin today at 10:00am PDT (1:00pm EDT, 12:00pm CDT). You can stream it online here:
Thank God such an intelligent and articulate worker in the vineyard has been given this important office. I look forward to seeing what he does with it!