The Rev. Ramón Bejarano, a priest of the diocese of Stockton, will be consecrated as a San Diego auxiliary bishop April 21. Image via

The Rev. Ramón Bejarano, a Stockton priest, has been named a new auxiliary bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, officials said Thursday.

The Vatican announced the appointment by Pope Francis earlier in the day.

Bejarano, 50, has roots in the U.S.-Mexico border and joins the existing leadership of the diocese, including the Most Rev. John Dolan, ordained as auxiliary bishop in June 2017.

“Today our local Church of San Diego is profoundly blessed to receive a new Auxiliary Bishop who will work with me and Bishop John Dolan in leading the Catholic communities of Imperial and San Diego counties,” said Robert McElroy, bishop of San Diego.

In a statement, Bejarano said he was humbled and honored by the appointment.

“It is a great sadness for me to leave the people and parishes whom I have served for the past 21 years,” he said. “But I am joyful that I will be ministering in the Diocese of San Diego and serving this diverse and vibrant local Church.”

Bejarano will be consecrated as bishop at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 — becoming only the second Hispanic auxiliary bishop in San Diego. Auxiliary Bishop Gilbert Chavez served in that
capacity for 33 years before retiring in 2007.

McElroy said he first met Bishop-Elect Bejarano at a pastoral conference in Modesto
three years ago where the late Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire told him: “Ramón is one of our finest priests with a shepherd’s heart, the zeal of missionary discipleship, and an intuitive ability to nurture and heal the souls of his people. I pray that someday he might be the first priest of Stockton to become a bishop.”

The Rev. Ramón Bejarano was born in Seagraves, Texas, on July 17, 1969, the son of José and María Elena Bejarano. Image via diocese

Bishop-Elect Bejarano, 50, was born in Seagraves, Texas, on July 17, 1969, the son of José and María Elena Bejarano. His family moved back to Mexico soon after his birth, and he spent his early life in Aldama, Chihuahua.

He and his family moved to Tracy when he was 18. He immediately began working in the
farming fields in San Joaquin Valley to help support his family, the diocese said.

Two years later, he was able to act on his long-standing desire to become a priest and applied to be a seminarian for the Diocese of Stockton. He studied philosophy for the diocese at the Archdiocesan Seminary of Tijuana and then completed his theological studies at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon.

He was ordained by the Most Rev. Donald Montrose on Aug. 15, 1998, for service in the Diocese of Stockton. He served as parochial vicar in the parishes of St. George in Stockton and Sacred Heart in Turlock.

He was later called, in 2005, to be the founding pastor of Holy Family parish in Modesto. He was the pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in Modesto from 2008 to 2019 when he was
named the Pastor of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

Bejarano has served as chaplain to the Migrant Ministry in the Stockton diocese, where he celebrated Mass with and for the families and workers in the migrant camps along with
providing the sacraments and counseling. He has been the spiritual director for the Spanish Catholic Radio in the area.

He also served in leadership positions at the Stockton diocese as a member of the
Presbyteral (Priest) Council, the Diaconate Board, the Preparatory Commission for the Diocesan Synod of 2005, and the College of Consultors.

Bejarano has two brothers, a sister and a mother who live in Texas. His father
passed away in 1995.

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