New Bishop Named for Cancun-Chetumal Prelature

CANCUN, Mexico, NOV. 1, 2004 ( John Paul II has named Legionary Father Pedro Pablo Elizondo Cárdenas the new bishop of the Cancun-Chetumal Prelature.

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Father Elizondo, 55, will succeed Bishop Jorge Bernal, 75, who presented his resignation for reasons of age. Bishop Bernal was appointed to oversee the area in December 1973.

It was Pope Paul VI who had entrusted the pastoral care of this territory of 52,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles) to the Legionaries of Christ.

Pedro Pablo Elizondo was born in Zamora, Mexico. He was ordained a priest in December 1982. From 1982 to 2001 he was a formator and teacher of the congregation’s novices in the United States, Ireland, Spain and Chile. Since 2001, he has been episcopal vicar of the Cancun-Chetumal Prelature.

When the prelature was established in May 1970, it had 13 priests and 16 women religious in five parishes who cared for 84,000 people, most of whom were Mayas.

Under Bishop Bernal’s direction, Legionary missionaries have built 343 churches and oratories, dozens of schools, medical clinics, and schools of faith. The prelature also has three universities.

The area’s 1.1 million inhabitants are served by 46 priests, 48 men religious, and 93 women religious of more than 10 congregations.

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