13 October 2010

The Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller

From the Office of Communication, Archdiocese of San Antonio:

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSp.S, 53, as the 6th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He will succeed Archbishop José H. Gomez, who was named in April 2010 to be the successor to Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles upon his retirement in early 2011. The Vatican made Archbishop-designate García-Siller’s appointment official this morning (10/14/2010), at 5 a.m. Central Time.

His installation as Archbishop of San Antonio is scheduled for November 23, 2010. When he received the news of his appointment the Archbishop-designate said, “I felt a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to serve the people of the Archdiocese. I felt real happiness and joy tempered by a deep awareness of the great responsibility I had been asked to embrace. From the moment I said yes, I felt, in faith, a deep affection for the people of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.”

Introducing the Archbishop-designate, during a news conference at the archdiocesan Pastoral Center, Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Oscar Cantú said: “I am delighted that the Holy Father sends us a shepherd who knows deeply the Good Shepherd; one who is passionate about his love for Jesus Christ, about his love for the Church, and about his love for his sheep.”

Archbishop-designate Gustavo García-Siller was born in San Luis Potosí S.L.P., Mexico, to Gustavo García Suarez and Maria Cristina Siller de Garcia. He is the eldest of 15 children. His brother, Eugene, is also a priest.

The Archbishop-designate joined the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in Mexico City in 1973 and was ordained a priest in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1984. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., the Archbishop of Chicago, ordained him an Auxiliary Bishop of the Chicago Archdiocese in 2003. Archbishop-Designate García-Siller has held several leadership positions in his religious order, including four years as Superior of the Holy Spirit Missionaries’ vicariate that then included the United States and Canada. He was elected the order’s Provincial in 2003.

His 26 years of priestly service has taken many forms, including ministering to communities with varied cultural backgrounds. While in California he served in Fresno and at three parishes in the Los Angeles area. He also worked in Oregon for three years. The Archbishop-designate has taught at the high school level and at the Institute for Philosophy in Guadalajara. For 13 years he was responsible for the formation of younger members of his religious order. As Auxiliary Bishop, he served as Cardinal George’s liaison to the Hispanic community, and was assigned to Vicariate V, which covers the south side of Chicago and its southwest suburbs. This area includes 79 culturally diverse parishes. In his vicariate, Mass is celebrated in 12 languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, Cantonese, Slovak, Mandarin, Croatian, Latin, Indonesian, Italian and Lithuanian. The Archbishop-designate can celebrate Mass and preach in English, Spanish and Polish.

Recognizing that he has spent little time in Texas, the Archbishop-designate said, “I plan to do a lot of listening, dialoguing and to be personally involved with the people as a way to connect with them and understand the needs of the Archdiocese.”

Archbishop-designate Garcia-Siller holds a Masters degree in psychology from the ITESO, a Jesuit University in Guadalajara, Mexico. He also has earned a Masters in Theology and a Masters in Divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California and received his Masters in Philosophy from Instituto de Filosofia, Guadalajara, Mexico. He also served as special director and teacher in seminaries in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Mount Angel, Oregon. Much of his work involved conducting retreats and spiritual direction.

On a national level, Archbishop-designate García-Siller currently serves on a number of committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): The Cultural Diversity Committee on Hispanic Affairs, African American Affairs, Committee on Hispanics and the Liturgy, and served as Chair of Region 7 of the USCCB, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. He had also served on the Committee on Consecrated Life.