SAN BERNARDINO—At press time, the Diocese had not yet received word on the identity of the Coadjutor Bishop who is expected to be named by the Vatican in the months before Bishop Gerald Barnes reaches the retirement age of 75.
Bishop Barnes released a video message announcing the coming year of Episcopal Transition on Aug. 8. He reflected with gratitude on his 28-year Episcopal Ministry here while also talking about the coming of his successor.
“He will have his own style and his own priorities,” Bishop Barnes acknowledged. “We will come to know him and support him fully in his Episcopacy, just as you have supported me.”
A Coadjutor Bishop is appointed by the Holy Father to succeed the Ordinary Bishop of a diocese. He comes to that diocese in the months before the Ordinary Bishop’s retires to assist him, then assumes leadership of the Diocese upon the Ordinary’s retirement. Bishop Barnes reaches the retirement age of 75 on June 22, 2020.
According to Church protocol, the announcement of the Coadjutor Bishop must be made first by Vatican. This is often done through the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, who would release the information around 6 a.m. PST. Bishop Barnes will be notified of the Coadjutor appointment days in advance of the public announcement and arrangements will be made for the Coadjutor to be introduced to local media and diocesan leaders at the Diocesan Pastoral Center just hours after the Nuncio has released the information. The local press conference introducing the Coadjutor Bishop will be livestreamed on the diocesan website www.sbdiocese.org.
In the meantime, the Diocesan Episcopal Transition Team continues to meet and plan for the arrival of the Coadjutor and the eventual retirement of Bishop Barnes. Subcommittees have been formed to address the specific areas of Liturgy and Prayer, Hospitality, History and Records, and Communications.
Following Bishop Barnes’ video message, a sense of anticipation is beginning to build in the Diocese, says Sister Sara Kane, CSJ, Diocesan Chancellor and Co-Chair of the Transition Team.
“We have begun sharing our concerns, challenges, feelings and hopes all over the diocese,” she said. “We are listening to each other—open to what God is calling us to.”