Oct 27, 2009 2:09 PM by David Ortiviz

Longtime Pueblo bishop welcomes successor

On Tuesday Bishop Arthur Tafoya held a news conference to welcome his successor, Fr. Fernando Isern from Miami. Tafoya, who has been the bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo for 29 years, will retire in mid-December.

"I want to thank the good people of Southern Colorado for the warm welcome with which I've been received," said Fr. Isern. Fr. Isern has been a priest for 16 years at a parish in Miami, Florida. "In my ministry I've been involved in prison ministry, hospital work, so it's been very varied," said Fr. Isern. "So in a sense I guess the lord has been preparing me for this call," he added.

Bishop Tafoya has lived in Pueblo during his 29 years as bishop for the region. "It's a bittersweet time for all of us," said Bishop Tafoya. "It's been a wonderful experience for me," said Bishop Tafoya. "I think I have become very attached to the people," he added.

Bishop Tafoya says after he retires, he plans to move to New Mexico to be closer to family. "To enjoy some time with them and also some time to relax," said Bishop Tafoya.

Fr. Isern will be ordained at the new bishop on December 10 in Pueblo.

The Catholic Church requires bishops to retire after turning 75 years old. Bishop Tafoya is 76.


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