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February 21, 2001


Bishop-elect Gomez named rector of Cathedral

By Roxanne King

Bishop-elect José H. Gomez has been named rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and administrator of Holy Ghost and St. Elizabeth of Hungary parishes, effective March 26, the archbishop's office announced.

The auxiliary bishop will be only the sixth rector in the 89-year history of the Cathedral, the Mother Church of the archdiocese. Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., is the pastor.

The archbishop made the appointment in response to recommendations of the Presbyteral Council and the interests of Bishop-elect Gomez, said Msgr. Walker Nickless, vicar for clergy and seminarians.

"It is a wonderful appointment for the archdiocese," Msgr. Nickless said. "It is a good way for the auxiliary bishop to get a real sense of the diocese, to be at the Mother Church. I know he will be very popular as rector of the cathedral. He really does want to remain in touch with the people and being the rector of the Cathedral will enable him to do that."

Father Jim Kleiner has served as rector pro-tem since the death of Msgr. John V. Anderson on Dec. 31, 2000. Msgr. Anderson had served as rector of the Cathedral, his boyhood parish, since 1995. Father Kleiner will continue to serve as a parochial vicar at the Cathedral along with Father Andreas Höck, Father Don Sutton, Father Charlie Martinez, O.F.M. and Father David Stahl. The parochial vicars also serve the other downtown parishes, Holy Ghost and St. Elizabeth's.

"We're continuing to look at the needs of the changing population of downtown Denver and how to best serve the faithful of those parishes — this is why the three parishes are connected," Msgr. Nickless said. "This will enable us to continue our planning for the future."

As rector, Bishop-elect Gomez will be residence at the Cathedral rectory, Msgr. Nickless said.

Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Bishop-elect Gomez was named auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese on Jan. 23. He had served as executive director of the National Association of Hispanic Priests and the vicar of the Opus Dei Prelature for Texas. He is in the process of moving from Houston to Denver. Just last week, the auxiliary bishop was in Colorado Springs attending a conference for 60 national and regional Hispanic ministry leaders. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Hispanic Affairs.

Bishop-elect Gomez will be ordained as auxiliary bishop 1:30 p.m. March 26 at the Cathedral, located at Colfax Avenue and Logan Street. Tickets are required for indoor seating. All are invited to a Solemn Prayer Service at the Cathedral scheduled 3 p.m. March 25. A reception with Bishop-elect Gomez will follow.


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