Bishop Ochoa of El Paso heading to Fresno
December 20, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of El Paso to head the Diocese of Fresno, Calif.
He succeeds Bishop John T. Steinbock, who died Dec. 5, 2010, after battling lung cancer.
A native of California, Bishop Ochoa, 68, has headed the Texas diocese since July 1996. Before that, he was an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles for 10 years.
His appointment to Fresno was announced in Washington Dec. 1 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Ochoa is one of 26 active Hispanic Catholic bishops in the United States. At the national level, he has served on bishops’ committees on vocations, laity, permanent diaconate, Hispanic affairs and migration.
The date for his installation in Fresno has not been set.
“I am humbled and deeply honored that the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI would offer me this new challenge at my age,” Bishop Ochoa said in a statement addressed to “my former and new collaborators in the vineyard of the Lord.”
“I have been privileged to have worked with and gotten to know you my brothers, here in the border region of El Paso,” he continued.” I am still in awe that you so readily accepted me as your new shepherd. Please know that you all will be in my prayers as we await the commemoration of the birth of the Lord.”
Bishop Ochoa said he would miss the “friendship and warmth of the people of the El Paso Diocese” when he leaves to take up his new appointment.
“This has been my family for the past 15 years,” he said.
He said he expected to be a “good listener” when he moves to the Fresno Diocese, which will probably occur in a few months.