Pope Chooses Chicago Auxiliary Bishop To Head Diocese In California

Bernie Tafoya
December 02, 2019 - 7:36 pm
Bishop Alberto Rojas

Bishop Alberto Rojas /Diocese Of San Bernardino

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- One of Chicago’s Catholic auxiliary bishops is getting his own diocese, and it’s a big one in southern California where he was introduced Monday morning. 

Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Rojas the next bishop of the San Bernardino, California diocese. It’s the fifth-largest diocese in the United States, with more than 1.5 million Catholics. 

Rojas is 54-years old and was born in Mexico.  

Officially, he's called the Coadjutor Bishop of San Bernardino because he will not take over the diocese from Bishop Gerald Barnes until some time after Barnes retires.

"Even though I have lived in this country most of my life, I can strongly identify with the experience of the immigrant brothers and sisters because I am one of them myself," Rojas said during his introduction news conference in San Bernardino, which is north of San Diego.

Bishop Rojas was ordained a priest in Chicago in 1997.  He was named an auxiliary bishop in 2011.

Rojas said, "I have so much to learn, that’s for sure, but with open heart and mind, I’m looking forward to working with all of you."