Archbishop Gomez to keynote Prayer Breakfast

May 28, 2013

HOUSTON — Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles will be the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast, set for Friday, July 26, at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston.

He was born on Dec. 26, 1951, in Monterrey, Mexico, the son of Dr. José H. Gomez and Esperanza Velasco, both deceased. He has three older sisters and one younger sister. 

Archbishop Gomez was ordained a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature on Aug. 15, 1978, by the late Cardinal Franz König, Archbishop Emeritus of Vienna, at the Shrine of Torreciudad, Spain.

After earning an accounting degree and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1975, Archbishop Gomez completed his bachelor’s in theology in 1978, the year he was ordained a priest, at the University of Navarre, Rome Campus. He then began working on a doctorate in theology at its main campus in Pamplona, Spain, receiving his doctorate in 1980.

From 1987 to 2000, he served as a priest in residence at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of San Antonio and also in Katy at the then Diocese of Galveston-Houston. On March 26, 2001, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Denver. Before being appointed as an auxiliary bishop, Archbishop Gomez had primarily ministered to lay people. 

While in Denver, he served as rector of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for two years. He was then named moderator of the curia and assigned as pastor of Mother of God Catholic Church. On Feb. 15, 2005, he was appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He became coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles on April 6, 2010, and archbishop on March 1, 2011.

Archbishop Gomez has distinguished himself as a respected national leader among Hispanic priests in the United States. Since 1991, he has been involved with the National Association of Hispanic Priests (ANSH), an organization which seeks to strengthen fraternity among the Hispanic priests in the United States. He was named president in 1995 and executive director from 1999 to 2001. He currently serves as their episcopal moderator. 
Throughout the years, he has also been engaged at the national level in several initiatives and organizations that serve the Hispanic community. 

He is an enthusiastic supporter of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and constantly encourages all Catholics to witness their faith in their daily lives. 

Recently, he became a member of the advisory board of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, and in the last few years he has appeared a number of times in different lists of influential Hispanics in the country.

In 2007, he brought together Latino leaders and bishops for the creation of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (C.A.L.L.). The association’s purpose is to impact the national dialogue and to contribute to the mission of the Church by identifying initiatives important to the building up of the Catholic community and supporting them in accordance with the bishops’ directives.

On July 25, 2008, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and on May 8, 2010, he was named member of the Special Council for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

During 2008 and 2009 Archbishop Gomez served as the first chairman of the new Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which was created to respond to the numerous and urgent needs of Church and society today, within the context of increasingly diverse cultures and races in our country. 

In addition, Archbishop Gomez also presently serves as:
• Chair: Task Force on the Spanish Language Bible for the Church in America (USCCB), 2003; 
• Chair: Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America (USCCB), 2009; 
• Chair: Committee on Migration (USCCB), 2010; 
• Member: Committee on Doctrine (USCCB), 2003;
• Member: Subcommittee on Hispanics and the Liturgy (USCCB), 2005; 
• Board Member: ENDOW – Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women;
• Board Member: MATT – Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together;
• Episcopal Moderator: National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana; and
• Founding Member: Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (C.A.L.L.)
His episcopal motto is taken from a scriptural passage of the Letter to the Hebrews: “Let us go forth with confidence to the Throne of Grace” (Heb. 4:16).