Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Pope Francis names Atlanta auxiliary bishop to lead the Diocese of Raleigh

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Atlanta Auxiliary Bishop Luis R. Zarama to head the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina.

He succeeds Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, who last October was named to head the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, where he was installed Dec. 6.

Bishop Zarama, 58, has been an Atlanta auxiliary bishop since 2009. A native of Colombia, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1993.

The appointment was announced in Washington July 5 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Zarama

Bishop Zarama will be installed as Raleigh’s sixth bishop on Aug. 29 at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.

“Pope Francis in today’s appointment has honored the Archdiocese of Atlanta with the gift of Bishop Luis R. Zarama to become the new bishop of Raleigh,” Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said in a statement. “How fortunate that the local church is to receive such a devoted and generous servant minister.”

“The Holy Father has chosen well even though his decision takes a deeply beloved brother and friend from our midst,” he added.

Archbishop Gregory said he joined with Bishop-designate Bernard E. Shlesinger, named an auxiliary bishop for Atlanta in May, and all the clergy, religious and laypeople of the archdiocese “in assuring Bishop Zarama of our prayers and warmest best wishes.” Bishop-designate Shlesinger is a Raleigh diocesan priest.

“I am proud to call him a brother bishop and good friend,” Bishop Burbidge said of Bishop Zarama, whom he described as “a holy, faithful and joyful bishop.”

Bishop Zarama is “known and respected for his pastoral skills, administrative abilities, zeal and kindness,” Bishop Burbidge said. “I have assured Bishop Zarama that he will be truly blessed with the support of such good priests, consecrated religious, deacons, seminarians, colleagues and lay faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh.”

Luis Rafael Zarama was born in Pasto, Colombia, Nov. 28, 1958. He attended the Conciliar Seminary in Pasto, where he graduated from high school. He attended Marian University, also in Pasto, earning a degree in philosophy and theology. He studied at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota, Colombia, where he earned a degree in canon law. He was a philosophy and theology professor at the Carmelites School, the Learning School and the Colombia Military School for 11 years.

He was a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta Nov. 27, 1993. Then-Father Zarama’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Atlanta. He also was a member of the Vocations Committee.

He was the first Hispanic priest in the archdiocese to be named pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church in Clarksville, Georgia, and St. Helena Mission in Clayton, Georgia.

He became an American citizen July 4, 2000. He was named vicar general of the archdiocese in April 2006. A year later Pope Benedict XVI named him a monsignor.

In 2008 he was appointed to serve as the judicial vicar for the Atlanta Archdiocese’s Metropolitan Tribunal. In July 2009, Pope Benedict named him an auxiliary bishop of Atlanta. His episcopal ordination was Sept. 29, 2009.

The Diocese of Raleigh covers 32,000 square miles. Out of a total population of over 4.8 million, there are just over 231,000 Catholics.

By Catholic News Service

CNS/Nancy Wiechec: Auxiliary Bishop Luis R. Zarama of Atlanta is seen in Nogales, Mexico, in this 2014 file photo. Pope Francis named the Atlanta auxiliary bishop to head the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C.

 




Diocesan Events Calendar
View All Events
Apr 237:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - St. John the Beloved - Summerville
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 247:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - Immaculate Conception - Goose Creek
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 25 ER/In-service
From the Calendar of Our Lady of Peace North Augusta
TAG Day
From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
7:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - Divine Redeemer - Hanahan
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 269:30 am Junior Ring and Scholarship MASS
From the Calendar of Cardinal Newman School
4:30 pm Spring Art Exhibit, 4:30 to 5:30 pm
From the Calendar of Bishop England Charleston
5:30 pm PTO Meeting
From the Calendar of St. Peter School Columbia
6:00 pm Fall/Winter Sports Banquet
From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
6:00 pm Family Potluck, Pray, & Play
From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
6:15 pm Spring Concert/Talent Show
From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
6:30 pm Fine Arts Night
From the Calendar of Summerville Catholic School
7:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - Christ Our King - Mt. Pleasant
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 27 Progress Reports
From the Calendar of St. Anthony of Padua School Greenville
arly Dismissal Teacher Inservice
From the Calendar of St. Anne School Rock Hill
Interims (22 days)
From the Calendar of St. Andrew School Myrtle Beach
Progress Reports
From the Calendar of Nativity Charleston
Student holiday ~ Enjoy your day off! Snow Make-up Day #1
From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
1:00 pm Parent Appreciation
From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
Apr 28 First Communion masses
From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach