Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre

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Official Announcement
Statement from Bishop-Elect Luis Romero
Statement from Bishop John O. Barres

Pope Francis today appointed Idente Missionary Father Luis Miguel Romero to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org). Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, made the announcement public earlier today in Washington, D.C.

Bishop-elect Romero is the recently appointed Vicar of Hispanic Ministry and Evangelization for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He is also pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of Loretto, Hempstead, N.Y.

Bishop-elect Romero will be introduced to the Diocese at the 7:45 AM Mass at Saint Agnes Cathedral. The Mass will air on the Catholic Faith Network at 8:30 AM and 12:30 PM. The first interview of Bishop-elect Romero will air today on Catholic Faith Network’s CFN Live at 10:30 AM and 9:00 PM. Catholic Faith Network can be viewed on Cablevision channel 29/13; Verizon FiOS TV channel 296, Time Warner Cable Channel 471. Mass can also be viewed online at www.cfntv.org.

The Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre, will ordain Bishop-elect Romero on April 16, 2020 at 2 PM at a Mass of Episcopal Ordination to be celebrated at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes, Rockville Centre. Bishop William Murphy, Bishop-emeritus, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Columbus, Ohio will be co-consecrating bishops.

“The Diocese of Rockville Centre rejoices in Pope Francis’ appointment of Father Luis Miguel Romero as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” said Bishop Barres. “I wish to express my deepest thanks to the Holy Father for this outstanding appointment to help pastor this, the eighth largest diocese in the nation. With a humble spirit, Bishop-elect Romero is a true intellectual with the ‘smell of the sheep’. He is a global churchman who lives the Idente missionary charism in an inspirational way.

“We will celebrate the centenary of Saint John Paul II’s birth on May 18, 2020. In his Apostolic Exhortation on the role of the bishop in the Church entitled Pastores Gregis (2003), he writes: ‘The pastoral ministry received in episcopal consecration, which sets the bishop ‘before’ the other faithful, finds expression in his ‘being for’ the other members of the faithful while not detracting from his ‘being with’ them.’ I cannot think of a better description of Bishop-elect Romero’s pastoral charity and leadership, and his humble and joyful missionary spirit. It will be a joy to ordain him a bishop.

“Bishop-elect Romero’s pastoral artistry and evangelizing leadership as pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of Loretto will translate well in his new role of assisting me and my brother bishops in the pastoral care of the diocese, tending to the pastoral and spiritual needs of a diverse population of more than 1.4 million Catholics. He will continue to serve as the recently appointed Vicar for Hispanic Ministry and Evangelization.

“Bishop-elect Romero has an exceptional capacity, with his extensive academic background in religion and science, to address how the truths of the Catholic faith in regard to the Gospel of Life, Catholic Social Justice teaching and the Church’s advocacy in history of ethical scientific development need to be brought directly and compellingly into the public square.

“On the parish level, Bishop-elect Romero has embraced the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Encuentro process. His hands-on Encuentro experience can serve as an example to many of the 133 parishes in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.”

“My deepest gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, whose charism I have in the highest esteem, for having appointed me as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” said Bishop-elect Romero.

“Special thanks and communion to our dear Bishop John Barres whose ‘dramatic missionary growth’ is for all of us a commitment and a horizon, and for the faithful of the entire diocese, the blessed land in which Christ has put me. My gratitude also to Bishop Emeritus Murphy and Bishop [Robert] Brennan, who received the Idente Missionaries in the Diocese. To the superiors, sisters and brothers of the Idente community, my communion always and my gratitude in the filial joy of the charism that we have received as a religious family from our Founder, Fernando Rielo. My thrilled thanks to the Parish of Our Lady of Loretto, in Hempstead, for its humble greatness; and to my family in Spain for its roots of love and joy,” said Bishop-elect Romero.

About Bishop-elect Luis Miguel Romero Fernandez

Luis Miguel Romero Fernandez was born in Palencia, north of Spain in 1954, and grew up in Andalusia. He recalls as a young man seeing a monument in Huelva, a city in southern Spain, of Christopher Columbus looking at America and embracing a cross. “At that time I did not imagine that my life would be a replica of it — look at America and embrace the cross,” said Father Romero.

While studying Philosophy and Theology at the International Seminary of the Idente Missionaries, Father Romero also completed bachelors and masters degrees in Biological Science at the University of Seville. He continued his education with bachelors and masters degrees in Philosophy and Letters from Autonomous University of Madrid and a doctorate (equivalent to a Ph.D.) in Medicine at the University of Saragossa.

Father Romero was ordained on September 11, 1981, in Tenerife, Spain, and served in spiritual and academic roles in Spain, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador. He was a university professor and administrator. Father Romero was the chancellor and rector-chancellor of the Private Technical University of Loja, Ecuador (Universidad Tecnica Particular De Loja), which is a Catholic university under the administration of the Idente Missionaries. The mission was to operate the university under the guidelines of the Catholic Church for Catholic universities, and under the charism of the Idente Missionaries. Currently, UTPL is one of the top universities in Ecuador.

In addition, Father Romero was the director of the University Pastoral (campus ministry) and Religious Sciences Department of the Bolivia Catholic University in La Paz, Bolivia. He was also the adjunct director of the Religious Sciences Department at the Bolivia Catholic University. He was the pastoral assistant (Chaplain of Campus Ministry) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (St. Joaquin Campus), Santiago, Chile. Father Romero also served as director of the University Pastoral Department (Campus Ministry) in the Diocese of Cadiz, Spain.

Father Romero has been published in numerous publications and has presented at conferences in the fields of biology, philosophy of science, ethics, theology, distance education and university management. He has held leadership roles in the Idente community and has also served as pastor of parishes in Bolivia and Chile. In 2014, theIdente Missionaries were entrusted to administer Our Lady of Loretto parish, Hempstead, with Father Luis as pastor. The Idente Missionaries also administer Saint Luke Parish in Brentwood.

The Institute Id of Christ the Redeemer, Idente Missionaries, is a Catholic congregation founded by Fernando Rielo in 1959 on the island of Tenerife, Spain. The congregation has religious men and women, as well as married missionaries.

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CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan/Director of Communications (p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625

(c) 516-510-0473 E-mail: sdolan@drvc.org