Bishop Gerald R. Barnes
Most Reverend Gerald Richard Barnes was born on June 22, 1945 in Phoenix, Arizona. His parents, George and Aurora, moved to Los Angeles when he was one year old. He and his five brothers and one sister grew up in the East Los Angeles area of Boyle Heights where his family owned a grocery store. Each of the children helped in the operation of the store. His mother, Aurora, died in May of 1991, and his father, George, died in May of 1998. His brothers and sister still reside in the greater Los Angeles area.
Bishop Barnes attended public schools with his religious education overseen by Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters (Victory Noll) at San Basilio Center on Fetterly Avenue. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles and went on to attend California State University, Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1967. After attending seminaries in St. Louis, Missouri and in Dayton, Ohio, he enrolled in the Assumption-St. John Seminary in San Antonio, Texas.
On December 20, 1975, Bishop Barnes was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Antonio by Most Rev. Francis J. Furey. He was later named an honorary prelate with the title of Monsignor. In January, 1992, he was appointed as the first auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino by Pope John Paul II. His last assignment before being named auxiliary bishop was rector of his alma mater, Assumption-St. John Seminary in San Antonio.
After his episcopal ordination on March 18, 1992, Bishop Barnes assisted Bishop Phillip Straling in conducting parish visitations, celebrating confirmation liturgies, and attending Diocesan and community functions. Following the June 1995 transfer of Bishop Staling to the reconstituted Diocese of Reno, Bishop Barnes served as administrator of the Diocese of San Bernardino until Pope John Paul II appointed him diocesan bishop on December 28, 1995. On March 12, 1996, before a crowd of over 2,500 people, he was installed as the second bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino.
With over 27,000 square miles and over 1.2 million Catholics, Bishop Barnes is chief shepherd to one of the fastest growing dioceses in the nation. In addition to his leadership of his local church, he currently serves as chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' sub-committee on Hispanic Affairs and is a member of the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. At the local level, he is a member of the board of the Inland Empire Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
His episcopal motto is, “Amar Es Entregarse”, “Love is the Total Giving of Oneself”.
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