For twelve years (1987-1999) he served as a priest at a parish in San Antonio. During these years Archbishop Goméz emerged as a highly regarded national leader among Hispanic priests in the US. He has served as regional representative, president and executive director of the Association of Hispanic Priests.
After serving as a priest in San Antonio, Archbishop Goméz worked in the Diocese of Denver. He was made an auxiliary bishop of Archbishop Chaput in 2001. There he helped to establish Denvers Centro San Juan Diego for Family and Pastoral Care, which provides care to immigrants in the community as well as formation for lay leaders. While in Denver he also served as Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception as well as Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Denver.
In 2004, the then Bishop Goméz was appointed head of the archdiocese of San Antonio. In fact, his ties to the archdiocese long pre-date his earlier ministry there. His mother was apparently raised there and his maternal grandparents were married in the city.
Like Bishop Soto, Archbishop Goméz's work has been widely celebrated and he is recognized as one of the rising stars of the Hispanic hierarchy. In 2003 he was awarded the prestigious "El Buen Pastor" award. In 2005 he appeared on Time Magazines
list of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States. The article
about him stated:
He has also served on the board of directors of the National Catholic Council of Hispanic Ministry as well as on the steering committee for Encuentro 2000, which commemorated the Jubilee Year of 2000. The event took place in Los Angeles and was sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Archbishop Goméz has also been very much involved in priestly formation and in building community among priests. He has written a book on the spiritual formation of priests, entitled, Men of Brave Heart: The Virtue of Courage in the Priestly Life
(Our Sunday Visitor, 2009). He was instrumental in the founding of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Mexico in 2000, a seminary which trains priests who serve in the United States. He has served on the United States Council of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) committees for priestly formation and priestly affairs. In fact, Archbishop Goméz serves on a number
of distinguished committees. His own site lists the following:
Chair: Ad Hoc Committee on the Spanish Language Bible for the Church in America (USCCB), 2003 ‐
Chair: Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church (USCCB), 2008 ‐
Member: Committee on Doctrine (USCCB), 2003‐
Member: Committee on Catechesis (USCCB), 2005 ‐
Member: Subcommittee on Hispanics and the Liturgy (USCCB), 2005 ‐
Board Member: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Board Member: Mexican American Cultural Center
Board Member: ENDOW Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women
Board of Trustees: The Catholic University of America
Board of Trustees: San Fernando Cathedral Historical Centre Foundation
Director: The John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation
Episcopal Moderator: National Association of Hispanic Priests
Episcopal Moderator: National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana
Spiritual Advisor: Catholic Life Insurance
Founding Member: Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (C.A.L.L.)
Note that at the top of the list is his role as Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Spanish Language Bible for the Church in America. This is an especially important post. Archbishop Goméz is deeply committed to helping Spanish speaking Catholics read the Bible. In fact, he reads the Spanish reflections on the Sunday Readings produced the St. Paul Center each week. For more, go here
. These are excellent
This sort of thing is not unusual for the good prelate. Last year he also headed up the effort to bring a teaching segment to the local population on AM radio
The Bishop made national headlines last year when he expressed disappointment over the fact that a Catholic college in his diocese, St. Mary's University invited Hilary Clinton to speak. Bishop Gomez insisted, "Our Catholic institutions must promote the clear understanding of our deep moral convictions on an issue like abortion, an act that the Church calls an unspeakable crime and a non-negotiable issue" (source
). In addition, go here
to see a TV news report, with excerpts from an interview with the bishop.
I might also mention that I personally met Archbishop Goméz last year at a conference
I was invited to speak at in San Antonio (I have never met the other bishops I write about here). I was especially struck by his warmth. I thoroughly enjoyed a homily he gave at the conference as well as his keynote address at the Saturday night dinner. He's a great bishop and his flock loves him.
Here is a link to a video
of the Archbishop (which I cannot embed here) speaking about the Sacraments as something more than merely a cultural expression. In addition, take a look at this video in which he speaks about immigration--though once again I must add that the video does not fully explain the Archbishop's views (i.e., he believes that illegal immigrants should face penalties, though he urges that since deporation breaks up families, those who break immigration laws should be punished in some other way
I also like this short little clip of the beginning of a talk he gave to a Catholic women's conference:
The talk apparently went well--it led this woman to want to do Bible study:
Finally, there is this video he did on the special offering for the Church in Latin America as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America: