Tag Archives: Archdiocese of Atlanta

Monsignor Luis R. Zarama Named Auxiliary Bishop For Archdiocese of Atlanta


Photo by Michael Alexander, The Georgia Bulletin

Photo by Michael Alexander, The Georgia Bulletin

ATLANTA — Pope Benedict XVI has named Monsignor Luis Rafael Zarama, 50, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, to be auxiliary bishop of Atlanta. The appointment was announced in Washington, July 27, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will hold a press conference in Atlanta at 10:00 am, July 27, 2009, at the Catholic Center of the Archdiocese of Atlanta to announce the appointment to the local community.

Archbishop Gregory said, “I am deeply grateful to His Holiness for this appointment which so favorably responds to the growing pastoral needs of our burgeoning local Church. The Holy Father’s selection of Monsignor Zarama from among our own generous and zealous priests is an affirmation not only of the gifts of this very fine priest, but of the quality of all of the priests who serve us. I heartily congratulate Bishop-elect Zarama and I look forward to working with him in the Episcopal service of the needs of all of our people.”

Luis Zarama was born November 28, 1958, in Pasto, Colombia. He entered the seminary of Pasto and the Universidad Mariana, where he studied philosophy and theology, from 1982-1987. He studied canon law at the Universidad Javeriana, in Bogata, from 1987-1991. He was ordained a priest in Atlanta in 1993.

Monsignor Zarama’s archdiocesan assignments have included parochial vicar, Sacred Heart Parish, Atlanta, 1993-1996; Administrator, St. Helena Mission, Clayton, Georgia, 1996-2006; pastor, St. Mark Parish, Clarkesville, Georgia, 1996-2006; Advocate, Court of Appeals, Ecclesiastical Province of Atlanta, 1993-1997; Defender of the Bond, Court of Appeals, Ecclesiastical Province of Atlanta, 1997-present; Assistant Director of Vocations, 2000-present; and Vicar General, 2006-present. He also has been a member of the Committee for Continuing Education of Priests, 1996-present, and a member of the Personnel Board, 2004-present.

In 2007, he was named a chaplain of His Holiness and received the title “monsignor.” He became an American citizen July 4, 2000.

The Atlanta Archdiocese has a population of 6,773,819 people, with 750,000, or 11 percent, of them Catholic.

The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Luis R. Zarama will take place on:

Tuesday 29 September, 2009
The Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

At the Cathedral of Christ the King
Atlanta, Georgia
Contact: Patricia M. Chivers
Communications Director
Monday, July 27, 2009
(678) 480-6865

Catholic Church prepares for tens of thousands of U.S. converts


Washington D.C., Apr 1, 2009 / 04:09 am (CNA).- Tens of thousands of new Catholics are expected to join the Catholic Church in the U.S. in 2009, with many doing so at the Easter Vigil liturgies on April 11. Converts to Catholicism are known as catechumens if they have never been baptized and as candidates if they have received baptism in another Christian community and now seek full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta, where Catholics have traditionally been a minority, estimates that 513 catechumens and 2,195 candidates will enter the Catholic Church in 2009, about 1,800 doing so at Easter. The figures do not include infant baptisms.

Father Theodore Book, director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Atlanta Archdiocese, said the archdiocese has been “blessed with an authentic dynamism” during recent years. He cited the archdiocese’s annual Eucharistic Congress, saying it draws nearly 30,000 participants.

“One of the many blessings that we have received from the Lord is the large number of individuals entering the Church,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Seattle will reportedly welcome 736 catechumens and 506 candidates, while the Diocese of San Diego will baptize 305 and receive into communion 920 other baptized Christians.

The mostly rural Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama reportedly will have 445 new converts. The diocese’s Cathedral of St. Paul could not hold them and their families for the Rite of Election, which had to be held in three separate ceremonies.

At St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, California resident Heidi Sierras will represent North America at the Easter Vigil, where she will be baptized by Pope Benedict XVI.

The 2008 Official Catholic Directory listed 49,415 adult baptisms and 87,363 people received into full communion in 2007.