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
Contact: Patricia M. Chivers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 27, 2009