AP NEWS

Pope Francis appoints bishops in Fresno, Los Angeles

March 6, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed a new bishop to lead the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, California, and also named a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The appointments were announced by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

The new bishop of Fresno will be the Most Rev. Joseph V. Brennan, who is one of five auxiliary bishops in the LA archdiocese, which he has served for 39 years, most recently as episcopal victor of the San Fernando pastoral region.

The son of a San Fernando Valley grocer and the ninth of 10 children, Brennan will be installed as the sixth bishop of Fresno on May 2, succeeding the Most Rev. Armando X. Ochoa.

“Over the years, I have come to know Bishop Brennan as a man of great faith, extraordinary talent, and love of his call to serve God’s people with the heart of Christ,” Ochoa said in a statement.

The Fresno diocese, located in the San Joaquin Valley agricultural heartland, has 1.2 million Catholics.

The new auxiliary bishop for Los Angeles is Monsignor Alejandro Aclan, a native of the Philippines who migrated to the United States as an adult in 1982.

Aclan was ordained to the priesthood in 1993 and has served in numerous positions in the archdiocese, which has an estimated 5 million Catholics.

“Our new bishop-elect is a proud son of our vibrant Filipino community,” Gomez said, noting that the archdiocese has people from every continent and ministries are conducted in more than 40 languages.

“Bishop-elect Aclan is a great example of the immigrant spirit that makes our church so strong and alive,” the archbishop said.

Aclan called the church “growing, vibrant, and jubilant,” but he acknowledged there are also disagreements and divergent views.

“Much work is needed for the healing, reconciliation, strengthening of the faith, and return to the church of people who, for one reason or another, have felt hurt or alienated,” he said. “People from opposite sides need to be brought together.”

Aclan will be ordained a bishop on May 16 at the cathedral.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Monsignor Alejandro Aclan migrated to the United States as an adult, not as a child.