September 8, 2015  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

–Bishops to serve the San Gabriel, San Fernando and Santa Barbara Pastoral Regions–

Archbishop José H. Gomez, joined by Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich and Los Angeles Retired Bishop Joseph M. Sartoris, today, at 2 p.m., at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, ordained Bishop David G. O’Connell and Bishop Joseph V. Brennan from Los Angeles and Bishop Robert E. Barron from Chicago as Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, presented the mandates from the Apostolic See at the Ordination Mass, which was concelebrated by more than 500 Los Angeles and Chicago priests and 45 bishops from throughout the United States. Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Roger Mahony also presided at the Mass. Thousands of Catholic faithful representing parishes, deacons, orders and ministries from throughout the Archdiocese, along with interfaith and civic leaders, attended the Ordination.

“I am overjoyed to be ordaining these three fine priests to be Auxiliary Bishops,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Each of them is a man of prayer who has a heart to serve people. This is a time of joy for the entire Catholic family here in the Archdiocese and a time of grace for all the people of Los Angeles.”

Pope Francis named the three new Auxiliary Bishops of Los Angeles on July 21, 2015. Following their ordination, Auxiliary Bishop O’Connell will serve as the Episcopal Vicar for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region; Auxiliary Bishop Brennan will serve as the Episcopal Vicar for the San Fernando Pastoral Region; and Auxiliary Bishop Barron will serve as the Episcopal Vicar for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.

Originally from County Cork, Ireland, Bishop O’Connell was ordained to the priesthood in 1979. He has served as Associate Pastor at St. Raymond in Downey, St. Maria Goretti in Long Beach, and St. Hillary in Pico Rivera, and then as Pastor of St. Frances X. Cabrini, Ascension Catholic Church, St. Eugene and St. Michael Parishes. He has worked to end violence in the inner city and serves on the Archdiocese’s pastoral committee on immigration supporting L.A.’s immigrant community.

“It is a wonderful time to be ordained auxiliary bishop as we plan for the Holy Year of Mercy,” said Bishop O’Connell. “I hope we can all make this mission of showing the compassionate face of Jesus to the world. It has always been a privilege to minister here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but most especially in these days. I look forward to great years ahead.”

Bishop Brennan was ordained to the priesthood in 1980. He served as associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, in Los Angeles, St. Linus in Norwalk, and at the Cathedral of St. Vibiana in Los Angeles. He went on to serve as pastor at St. Linus in Norwalk and Holy Trinity in San Pedro. Bishop Brennan most recently served as Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“I am humbled by this appointment and blessed to be able to continue to serve in such a beautiful community of faith,” said Bishop Brennan. “I am especially excited to be returning home to the San Fernando Valley where I grew up. The San Fernando Pastoral Region has been in good hands under the stewardship of Bishop Wilkerson, and I look forward to serving the region to continue the wonderful things happening there.”

Bishop Barron was ordained to the priesthood in 1986. Shortly after his ordination, he served as associate pastor at St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Park Ridge, Ill. He was then appointed to the theological faculty of Mundelein Seminary, and has served as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, as well as scholar in residence at the North American Pontifical College at the Vatican. Bishop Barron is the founder of Word on Fire, a global media ministry which has been spreading the message of the New Evangelization since the year 2000. He most recently served as the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary University of St. Mary of the Lake, in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“I am filled with gratitude to Pope Francis and to Archbishop Gomez for the confidence they have placed in me,” said Bishop Barron. “I am also very excited at the prospect of serving the good people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and working with the priests and pastoral ministers who serve here.  I see my fundamental role as proclaiming Jesus Christ, risen Lord and fulfillment of the deepest desires of the human heart.  And I invoke the help of Our Lady of the Angels as I commence my ministry.”

At the Ordination Mass, each of the bishops made solemn promises to uphold the faith and discharge their duty. They also received their pontifical insignia, a bishop’s ring, miter and staff, which were blessed during the Solemn Vespers the evening before the Ordination. The insignia are outward signs of a bishop’s identity as chief priest. The ring symbolizes his fidelity and bond with the Church, while the miter and staff are signs of his authority. Following the Mass, each of the new auxiliary bishops greeted and blessed the faithful in attendance at the Ordination.

For more information on the Ordination and each of the new Auxiliary Bishops, visit

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