Witness: Most Reverend Ricardo Ramírez CSB Bishop Emeritus of Las Cruces, New Mexico
Sunday, April 9, 2017 -
Bishop Ricardo Ramírez CSB was ordained to the priesthood for the Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers) on December 10, 1966 in Houston, Texas. He was then assigned to St. Mary's Church in Owen Sound, Canada. He earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Detroit, and served as chaplain to university students at the Centro Cultural Aragón in Mexico City until 1970. While working on the Family Religious Education Project in Tehuacán, Mexico from 1970 to 1976, Ramírez pursued his studies at the East Asian Pastoral Institute of the Ateneo de Manila University in Manila (1973-1974). Upon his return to the United States, he was Executive Vice President of the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas from 1976 to 1981. Ricardo was named Titular Bishop of Vatarba and Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio on October 27, 1981, by Pope John Paul II and was ordained to the episcopacy on December 6, 1981, in San Antonio. On October 18, 1982, he became the first Bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Ricardo Ramírez sat on the International Policy Committee, the Committee on the Liturgy, and the Committee on Hispanic Affairs. He also chaired the Committee on the Church in Latin America and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. He was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. Bishop Ramírez was appointed to two terms as Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), 2003-2007 and was the USCCB representative to the Fifth General Conference of Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida, Brazil, 2007. On January 10, 2013, Ramírez's resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI, at the same time announcing the appointment of his successor, Oscar Cantú.
Bishop Ramírez has recently authored Power from the Margins: The Emergence of the Latino in the Church and in Society (Orbis Press). In this powerful and timely book, Bishop Ricardo captures the drama and significance of the emergence of Latinos in U.S. Catholicism and society over the past fifty years. His reflections range from the role of the family and the promise of youth, to education, civil rights, and the challenge of immigration. Probing the profound faith that lives in the Latino Catholic heart, he explores the role of popular piety, devotion to Mary, and "liturgy as fiesta." This vivid memoir and theological/pastoral reflection covers a broad range of issues dear to the heart of ministers, educators, community leaders, and the wider community and provides wisdom for all those seeking to grasp where Latinos are today and where they are going. He concludes his reflections writing about the impact of Pope Francis, and echoes the Latino Pope, calling on the whole church to come out of our comfort zones, to follow Jesus, and discover the power that lies at the margins.
Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation – Born on the wings of World Youth Day 2002 in Canada, Salt + Light is a unique instrument of the New Evangelization. It is dedicated to being – and helping others become – the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel to the world by telling stories of hope that bring people closer to Christ and the Catholic faith.