On June 29, Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul and the 61st anniversary of the founding of the Idente Institute, the ordination as auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre (Long Island, New York) of our brother Luis Miguel Romero took place, becoming the first bishop of our institution. The ceremony took place with all the restrictions required by covid-19, so very few people were able to attend, which did not detract from the solemnity and emotion experienced by the many who followed the live broadcast through the facebook of the diocese.
The Ordination Mass, which began promptly at 2:00 pm and lasted until 4:50, was presided over by the Ordinary, Bishop John Barres, and concelebrated by a large number of bishops, including the Apostolic Nuncio, Christophe Pierre; Cardinal Timothy Dolan; Bishop William Murphy, bishop-emeritus of Rockville Centre; and Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Columbus, Ohio. The General Superior of the Idente Missionaries, Fr. Luis Casasús, the superiors of the Idente Community in the United States and several priests were also present.
Monsignor John. O. Barres in his homily gave a broad outline of Luis Miguel and expressed his joy and noted expectations for the pastoral mission of the new auxiliary given his high professional and scientific qualifications: Doctor of Medicine and Biology and Rector of the Universidad Particular de Loja (Ecuador), with a commitment to reflect and harmonize the necessary link between Science and Religion.. On the other hand, he highlighted the shield and motto chosen by Luis Miguel: “He has chosen “Meek and humble of heart” as his episcopal motto, and his episcopal shield pays homage to the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas, to the humble St. Juan Diego (1474-1548). It also pays homage to the mystical evangelizing fire of the Idente community founded by Fernando Rielo Pardal (1923-2004), and we join the community today in praying for the canonization of its founder. We also celebrate that today is the first time that a member of the Idente Community has been consecrated as a bishop. Bishop Barres’ appreciation and closeness to our institution and to our brother Luis Miguel were evident in his final words: “We thank the Holy Spirit and the Holy See for his appointment and for his Episcopal consecration today and we rejoice in a special way with the Hispanic community of Long Island, the parishioners of Our Lady of Loreto parish and the Idente community.
Especially moving was the reading of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Mandate designating our brother Luis Miguel as Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, which our brother, as part of the liturgical rite, showed to all those present as he toured the church.
At the end of the Mass Cardinal Dolan congratulated the new auxiliary and Bishop Barres on this appointment which represents an enrichment for the pastoral work of the diocese and its missionary mandate, especially in virtue of the high percentage of Hispanic immigrants.
Finally, Bishop Romero shared his sentiments pointing out that the day of his ordination coincided with the foundation by Fernando Rielo of the Idente Missionaries, a fact that for the new auxiliary was more providential than mere coincidence. He expressed his gratitude to Bishop Barres and Bishop Emeritus Murphy, for the trust they had placed in him and in the community of Idente Missionaries, that received their first pastoral mission from the Archdiocese of New York in 1994, when Cardinal John O’Connor asked the Idente Missionaries to administer the parish of Santa Maria in the Bronx.
Luis M. Romero was born in Huelva, Spain, in 1954, and discovered early his religious and missionary vocation and entered the Institute of Idente Missionaries. As a member of the Institute he was soon sent to Hispanoamerica (Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador), where he resided for 25 years, and was later assigned to the Idente mission in India for two years, a “short period,” he himself said, “but with a profound meaning for my spiritual life and missionary vocation.” In 2014 he began a new assignment as pastor of Our Lady of Loretto, in Hempstead, Rockville Centre.
We publish below the beautiful words of thanks pronounced by our brother Luis Miguel as well as a selection of photos of the ceremony (Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz).
The video broadcast of the ceremony can be seen at the following links: tps://vimeo.com/433963078