Pueblo, Live from Miami
The first Cuban-born prelate to head a Stateside diocese since the Jesuit Enrique San Pedro of Brownsville died in 1994, Isern (right) will be ordained and installed on 10 December in Pueblo's Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
At a Miami chancery press conference this morning, the bishop-elect kept it simple... and brief:
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has entrusted me with the care of the people of the Diocese of Pueblo. We commend ourselves to his prayers. I wish to thank His Excellency Arthur Tafoya, for his many years of exemplary service to the Diocese of Pueblo and for his warm and fraternal welcome to me. I thank Archbishop Favalora, his Auxiliaries, priests and religious for their example and fraternity during my years as a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami. I am especially grateful for having been entrusted as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. I have been able to experience the wonderful vibrancy and love of this Archdiocese in the commitment of its laity. As President of Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School and Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, I have seen the wonderful contribution that Catholic education makes to the Church. The love of Christ has urged us in a variety of other ways and ministries in the Church, for example, detention ministry and I have, therefore, adopted the Episcopal motto, “Caritas Christi Urget Nos” (2 Cor 5, 14).Likewise on the wire is an enthusiastic welcome from Isern's new metropolitan, Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap, who'll lead the December ordination:
As Bishop of the Diocese [of] Pueblo, it is a father’s love that unites me to its laity, priests and religious. The diocese encompasses Southern Colorado, an area with great natural beauty and diversity. Its people are rightfully proud of their history and cultural contributions. It is the love of Christ that urges us to now embrace each one as our own and to entrust ourselves to the generosity and hospitality of its people, as we recite the beautiful prayer of St. Theresa of Avila, whose feast we celebrate today, “Let nothing disturb thee; nothing frighten thee. All things are passing. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God. God alone suffices.”
As of this writing, the only other info posted on any of the three relevant chancery sites is the Duluth diocese's standard-fare release announcing the appointment of Bishop-elect Paul Sirba.
Bishop-elect Fernando Isern is new to the Rocky Mountain west, but he comes with the enthusiastic support of the many laypeople and bishops, in Florida and elsewhere, who know the excellent quality of his priestly service. He has an outstanding record of leadership as a pastor, a devotion to prison ministry and advocacy for the unborn child and the poor, strong personal roots in the Latino community, and a demonstrated ability to work with persons of many different ethnic and social backgrounds.
Bishop Arthur Tafoya has served the Church in the Diocese of Pueblo in a distinguished way for many years. He will be greatly missed as a brother and leader as he begins a well-earned retirement. But he can take joy and confidence – as we do – in the character of the man who now takes up his duties.