New regional Catholic Bishop Ordained
By Alison Shackelford
Copley News Service - Courtesy of Daily Breeze News
Bishop Alexander Salazar, the new bishop for the San Pedro Pastoral
Region, was ordained Thursday in a colorful ceremony in downtown
Los Angeles as thousands of people looked on.
was ordained by Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles,
in a three-hour ceremony attended by 3,000 people, some of whom
had to settle for standing room only in the Cathedral of Our Lady
of the Angels.
of clergy members and 35 bishops from around the nation
formed a vast procession from the back of the cathedral
as the ceremony began, carrying incense and candles.
Cardinal Mahony placed a bishop's miter on Salazar's head
and passed him a crosier -- the hooked bishop's staff. As
organ music and the voices of the choir filled the cathedral,
Salazar walked up and down aisles between the pews, waving
to people as they waved back.
expressed his gratitude and related a story of a fellow priest
who called him after finding out Salazar would become a bishop.
While offering congratulations, the priest mused that it was a
difficult time to be a bishop.
we may recognize that these past few years will be a defining
moment in the history of our church, I am not prepared to acknowledge
that these are the worst of times," Salazar said. "These
times are really the best of times -- for never have we been so
aware of the need of the Lord and his presence in our lives.
give my gratitude to the wonderful people of God from the
many communities of this archdiocese that I have been privileged
to serve," Salazar said.
"I will continue to seek your wisdom and guidance."
who was appointed by Pope John Paul II, becomes one of five bishops
in the local archdiocese, the nation's largest. Salazar will serve
66 parishes and 1.5 million Catholics, including those in El Segundo,
Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Wilmington,
Carson, Lomita and Gardena.
the bilingual bishop was pastor of St. Theresa of Avila Church
in Los Angeles and vice chancellor of the archdiocese.
a position that was vacant for a year and a half, although the
region was served in the interim by Monsignor Bernard Leheny.