It was just announced yesterday that Pope Francis has appointed Father Robert Barron, the well-respected rector of Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For some reason, this announcement took me by surprise, although it really shouldn't have because Father Barron is an excellent and faithful priest with a good reputation who will make a fine bishop. A typically upbeat and outgoing native of Chicago, he is well trained theologically and an effective teacher of our faith to modern Catholics and non-Catholics alike, qualities evident to the millions who have enjoyed his TV series Catholicism and other products of his Word on Fire Ministries. As someone who grew up mainly in the L.A. Archdiocese, I am delighted to see Father Barron sent there to help shepherd that vast flock of the Church's faithful as a successor to the Apostles. Los Angeles is even bigger and more diverse than Chicago and the weather and climate are very different, so let's keep Bishop-elect Barron in our prayers as this will be a significant adjustment for him. Now I won't be surprised if he's appointed Coadjutor to Archbishop Jose Gomez a few years down the road and eventually ends up succeeding him as head of the L.A. Archdiocese. But all in good time and if God wills it.
Praise the Lord! This calls for a Te Deum.