Last Tuesday, Pope Francis appointed Father Robert Barron, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago as one of the new auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This, in many ways, is a recognition by the pope, of the unique ministry of Father Barron.
Bishop-elect Barron is, after Pope Francis, the single most followed Catholic leader on Twitter. His Word on Fire ministry, with its podcasts, YouTube videos and blogs, has reached more people, both those open to the Word of God and those searching for God in their lives, whether they might admit it or not. As the author of the book, “Catholicism,” and its accompanying television series, many parishes throughout the English-speaking world have grown in the knowledge and love of Jesus and His Church.
As a world-class theologian, through modern media, he has had an immense classroom, addressing the contemporary world’s hunger for God. As the rector of the largest seminary in the U.S., Mundelein, (which is named after a Brooklyn diocesan priest), Bishop-elect Barron has sought to form priests who are active in the New Evangelization, firmly rooted in tradition, while at the same time open to bringing the Gospel to the people of God, 140 characters at a time!
He serves as a model for priests and bishops who use social communications wisely. May God bless him in his new episcopal ministry.