Bishop Barron Vocations Jamboree University of Mary

Most. Rev. Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles

BISMARCK, ND – One of Pope Francis’ newly appointed bishops seeks to inspire North Dakota Catholics at a March 30 visit to the University of Mary.

Some have characterized him as part Cardinal George, part Fulton Sheen. He’s the newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Robert Barron — a unique, modern-day combination of two late, but popular icons of Catholicism in America.

Widely known throughout the world for his “Sheen-esque” Word on Fire Ministries, or “e-preaching,” Barron is regarded as a social media star. He resonates with people of all ages through all mediums with his very popular online YouTube videos, articles, and commentaries on Scripture and popular culture, as well as his “Catholicism” TV series on PBS. As Barron described in a 2009 interview with the Catholic Herald of England, his mission is to spread “the rich artistic and intellectual tradition” of the Catholic faith, thus “evangelizing the culture”.

“Bishop Robert Barron is one of the great communicators of the Faith today,” stated Dr. Peter Huff, director of the Center for University Ministry and professor of Theology at the University of Mary. “Visionary educator, imaginative theologian, faithful churchman with an artist’s instincts — and his career is really just beginning. We in North Dakota have read his books, watched his videos, and followed his commentary on world affairs. Anyone who thinks Christianity is a worn-out creed, irrelevant in the age of atheism and terrorism, needs an hour — or just a few minutes — in the presence of Robert Barron.”

While studying for the priesthood at the Catholic University of America, Bishop Barron was a recipient of the prized Theodore Basselin Scholarship, which offers special training in preaching and philosophy. A more recent “Basselin Scholar” was Monsignor James Shea, president of the University of Mary. Through this connection and at Monsignor Shea’s invitation, the tech-savvy Bishop Barron is sharing his dynamic message of evangelization with the people of North Dakota on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., in the McDowell Activity Center (MAC) on the campus of the University of Mary. Also, at that time, Mary will bestow upon Barron the prestigious Lumen Vitae Medal, (Latin for “light of life”) which is given to those who are champions of Catholic education and who bring others closer to Christ and his Church. This event, which is free and open to the public, is preceded by an all-university Mass in the MAC beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Shea believes one of Christianity’s great devotional works, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis, best characterizes his fellow Irishman’s work and mission: “‘He who would follow me should not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. These are the words of Christ which we are being admonished that we would imitate His life and ethics, if we would be truly illuminated and from all hardness of heart would be liberated.’ There are few voices who bring the lumen vitae to so many millions of souls around the world in such a profound and powerful way as Robert Barron. I can’t wait for our students and the people of North Dakota to hear him in person as he sheds light upon our own lives of faith. We look forward to welcoming him to our campus.”

Pope Francis recently appointed Barron, along with three other priests, to the 5-million-member Archdiocese of Los Angeles in southern California — the largest in the United States. With Cardinal George as his mentor, Sheen his idol, and his already iconic image as a youthful servant of God, Los Angeles is an idyllic venue for evangelizing “politics, law, the arts, higher education, and entertainment,” stated Barron in a article.

While his enormous popularity with the younger generation comes from his ingenious use of the camera and microphone, some of Barron’s greatest work isn’t necessarily seen on computer screens, but behind the scenes of many parishes across the country. As former rector of the prestigious Mundelein Seminary in Chicago —the largest in the United States — he’s the man behind many of today’s young, inspirational and newly ordained priests.


Bishop Robert Barron on-air with Word on Fire Ministries from Rome, Italy

Bishop Robert Barron on-air with Word on Fire Ministries from Rome, Italy