Costa Rican Capital Has New Archbishop

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, JULY 14, 2002 ( John Paul II appointed Bishop Hugo Barrantes Ureña of Puntarenas as new archbishop of San Jose of Costa Rica.

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He succeeds Archbishop Román Arrieta Villalobos, who resigned for reasons of age, as the leader of the archdiocese’s 2.3 million Catholics.

The son of agricultural workers, Hugo Barrantes was ordained a priest in 1961. He holds a licentiate in canon law. He previously was vicar general of the San Isidro de El General Diocese from 1993 to 1998. The Pope named him bishop of Puntarenas in April 1998.

Accustomed to riding on horseback when visiting rural communities in the exercise of his priestly ministry, the 66-year-old archbishop told the press that he now felt the call “to more prayer and fidelity to the Gospel, to greater communion with Christ.”

The Archdiocese of San Jose of Costa Rica embraces 127 parishes, served by 289 diocesan priests, and 195 men religious and 526 women religious. It has 95 educational centers and 90 charitable institutions.

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