The Diocese of Monterey has announced that Bishop Richard J. Garcia of Monterey died July 11. He was 71. Bishop Garcia served as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento for nine years. He was named by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 25, 1997, after he served since 1973 as a priest of the Diocese of San Jose. He was ordained by Bishop William K. Weigand in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento on Jan. 28, 1998.
While serving as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, he was Moderator of the Curia and Vicar for Hispanics and other ethnic ministries. In addition, he represented the church to countless pastoral and civic groups and, in particular, gave special attention to the young people of the diocese in Catholic schools, parish faith formation and youth ministries.
On Dec. 19, 2006, Pope Benedict XI appointed him as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Monterey. He was installed during a Mass in the Monterey Convention Center on Jan. 30, 2007. The Diocese of Monterey includes the counties of Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and San Luis Obispo.
Bishop Garcia served the church faithfully for more than 45 years of his priesthood. In a statement issued July 11, the Diocese of Monterey noted: "Bishop Garcia was known for his very personable, welcoming and friendly demeanor. As a spiritual shepherd, he had a special concern for the poor, the incarcerated, migrant workers and immigrant communities. He always had time for his priests, deacons, religious, seminarians and the people of God throughout the Diocese of Monterey. Bishop Garcia had a special delight for children and was most compassionate to those with special needs. He was proud of his Mexican-American heritage and the diversity of cultures that are represented in the church."
Use these links to connect with the resources of the Diocese of Sacramento and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: