WASHINGTON (March 26, 1999) -- Pope John Paul II has named Corpus Christi Bishop Roberto O. Gonzalez, OFM, the Archbishop of San Juan de Puerto Rico.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced the appointment.
Bishop Gonzalez succeeds Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez.
Roberto Octavio Gonzalez was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on June 2, 1950. He received his elementary school education at the Academia Santa Monica in Santurce, Puerto Rico, after which he attended St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, New York. He also studied at Siena College in Loudonville, New York.
Accepted as an affiliate of the Franciscan Order at Christ House in Lafayette, New Jersey, in 1970, he was professed August 25, 1973, and took final vows August 21, 1976. He was ordained to the priesthood May 8, 1977.
Following ordination Father Gonzalez was appointed a parochial vicar at St. Pius V parish, the Bronx, New York. He was serving as pastor of Holy Cross parish, New York City, when he was named titular bishop of Ursona and Auxiliary Bishop of Boston on July 19, 1988. He was named Coadjutor Bishop of Corpus Christi on May 16, 1995, and became diocesan Bishop there on April 1, 1997.
Archbishop-elect Gonzalez earned a master's degree in theology at the Washington Theological Coalition in Silver Spring, Maryland.
He also holds a doctorate in sociology from Fordham University, and he authored The Hispanic Catholic in the United States: a Socio-Cultural and Religious Profile.
Cardinal Aponte Martinez was born in Lajas, Puerto Rico, August 4, 1922. He was ordained to the priesthood April 10, 1950. After having served as Bishop of Ponce, he was promoted to the Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico on November 4, 1964. He was named a cardinal in 1973.
The Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico comprises the northeast portion of the Island of Puerto Rico and has a Catholic population of approximately 890,000 out of a total population of 1.23 million.