Chicago Bishop to Lead San Antonio Archdiocese

Archbishop-designate Is Native of Mexico

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas, OCT. 14 ( Benedict XVI named Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Gustavo García-Siller, 53, as the new archbishop of San Antonio. His installation as archbishop is scheduled for Nov. 23.

The Vatican made the appointment official today. The Archbishop-designate succeeds Archbishop José H. Gomez, who was named earlier this year as Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles.

In a statement posted on the Web site of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Archbishop-elect García-Siller stated that when he received the news, he «felt a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to serve the people of the Archdiocese. I felt real happiness and joy tempered by a deep awareness of the great responsibility I had been asked to embrace.

«From the moment I said yes, I felt, in faith, a deep affection for the people of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.»

Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, congratulated the people of San Antonio as «they are being given a pastor of exceptional spirituality and integrity of heart.»

«Bishop Gustavo will be sorely missed in the Archdiocese of Chicago,» the cardinal continued. «His ministry with us has been pastorally fruitful, and his presence among us has been a blessing.

«May the Lord and his Blessed Mother grant him many years as archbishop of a key diocese in our country.»

Oldest of 15

Archbishop-designate Gustavo García-Siller was born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and is the oldest of 15 children. He has a brother, Eugene, who is also a priest.

In 1973, Garcia-Siller entered the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in Mexico City, and in 1980 was sent to the United States to minister to migrant workers in California. During that time he studied at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, and obtained a master’s degree in divinity, and another in theology.

Garcia-Siller was ordained in 1984, and went on to earn a master’s in psychology from the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Guadalajara. He also studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

The priest was named auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 2003, where he also served as Cardinal George’s liaison to the Hispanic community.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio counts with 702,547 members out of a total population of more than 2.3 million. It has 139 parishes and 34 missions, 307 priests, 726 women religious, two seminaries (one religious and one diocesan) and three Catholic universities.

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