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Pope Francis Appoints Friend of the College, Fr. Robert Barron, as New Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles

Posted: July 21, 2015

With joy, members of the Thomas Aquinas College community celebrate the appointment of a friend of the College, Rev. Robert Barron, as a new bishop in its archdiocese.

This morning, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Fr. Barron as one of three new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The president and rector of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary and founder of the Word on Fire media ministry, Fr. Barron delivered a lecture on campus in 2013.

“The Church of Los Angeles — the most populous in the United States — is energetic, diverse, and creative. Over the years, I’ve visited many times,” the Bishop-Elect said on his blog earlier today. “Most recently, I was in the Archdiocese for a lecture at Thomas Aquinas College. So though I can’t claim to know it well, I have been able to taste and see some of its richness.”

When presenting his lecture, “David Dancing Before the Ark: The Liturgical Theology Implicit in 2nd Samuel,” Bishop-Elect Barron noted that he was “delighted to be here at Thomas Aquinas College, a place I have admired from a distance for many years.” He told the students, “It is a great privilege for all of you to be at this place and for me to see it for the first time.”

The Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, introduced Bishop-Elect Barron and the two other newly appointed bishops, Msgr. Joseph V. Brennan and Msgr. David G. O’Connell, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels this morning. His Excellency described each of the priests as being “a man of prayer and a man of service” with “a heart for the poor and a passion to share God’s good news of mercy and love with everyone in the world today.” He additionally called Bishop-Elect Barron “a fine priest and a smart theologian with the heart and commitment of a good pastor.” Citing Fr. Barron’s highly acclaimed work in television, the Archbishop added, “I think God has sent him to the right place, the media capital of the world.”

Dr. Michael F. McLean, president of Thomas Aquinas College, remarked, “We congratulate Bishop-Elect Barron on his appointment, and we give thanks to God and to Pope Francis for blessing us with this fine shepherd. We look forward to welcoming him and Bishops-elect Brennan and O’Connell to the campus before long.”

Bishop-Elect Barron and President McLean in 2013
Bishop-Elect Barron and President McLean in 2013