The Diocese of San Bernardino introduced the successor to the Bishop of San Bernardino at a press conference Monday.
Bishop Alberto Rojas will succeed current San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes as the head of the Diocese of San Bernardino after his retirement.
Until Bishop Barnes submits his letter of resignation to Pope Francis on his 75th birthday, per church law, Rojas will serve as the dioceses’ coadjutor – an assistant bishop to the main bishop.
Bishop Rojas, himself an immigrant from Mexico, talked about his desire to help the immigrant population in San Bernardino at the Monday press conference.
Rojas: “I was born and raised in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in the center of the country, a small little state. And even though I have lived in this country most of my life, I can strongly identify with the experience of the immigrant brothers and sisters, because I am one of them myself.”
Bishop Barnes is currently the longest serving bishop of any diocese in the United States, at 24 years, and the incoming Bishop Rojas will be the third Bishop of San Bernardino in the 41-year history of the diocese.
Rojas has been an auxiliary bishop of Chicago since 2011.
The diocese of San Bernardino is the nation’s fifth-largest Catholic diocese and the second-largest in California.