A great and compassionate teacher

By Densy Chandra

 Twenty-five years ago Bishop Barnes came from San Antonio, Texas; He was appointed to become the first Auxiliary Bishop of our Diocese. I have known Bishop Barnes for 17 of the 25 years. By then, when I first met him, he was already the Ordinary of the Diocese. I was very impressed when he recognized me the second time we met. 

 In these years, I am privileged to have collaborated with him and known him in many facets of relationship. I have collaborated with Bishop Barnes as an Executive Member of a National Asian Pacific organization, and as an Asian and Pacific leader in the local Church; as a leader of the Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; as a parish leader, and also as a friend. 

 Whenever I introduce myself as being from San Bernardino, many a time people know the name of the Bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino. I guess our bishop is a national celebrity among the U.S. Catholics. I am very proud to be in his flock.

 If I were asked to name one thing to say about Bishop Barnes, my answer would be “TEACHER.” He likes to instill questions, which challenge me to move to the next level and broaden the scope of the ministry; at the same time he offers his support. 

 I have witnessed his human frailty and humility, which heals my own soul and that of others. I have witnessed him admit his imperfection. He dared to apologize in front of the flock. Bishop Barnes is a great and compassionate teacher who leads by example.

Densy Chandra is a parishioner of The Holy Name of Jesus in Redlands, a leader in Asian-Pacific Ministry in the Diocese and a member of the Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre.