Bishop Robert Barron
“I am overjoyed and humbled to receive this new assignment as the ninth bishop of Winona-Rochester. I look forward immensely to getting to know the good people, priests, and pastoral ministers of the diocese. I will have to brush off my Chicago winter coat, which has remained unused for the past six years in Santa Barbara! My fondest hope is that I might be a good spiritual father to all the Catholics of southern Minnesota.
Bishop Barron was ordained a priest in 1986 in the Archdiocese of Chicago and appointed to the theological faculty of Mundelein Seminary in 1992. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was twice scholar in residence at the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican.
He served as the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary University of St. Mary of the Lake from 2012 until 2015. On July 21, 2015, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barron to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was ordained bishop on September 8, 2015. On Thursday, June 2, 2022, at noon Rome time, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Robert Barron the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester (Minnesota).
Bishop Barron received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America in 1982 and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris in 1992. His other advanced degrees include:
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, Assumption College
Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, Saint Anselm College
Doctor of Sacred Theology, Honoris Causa, Dominican House of Studies
Doctor of Religious Education, Honoris Causa, Providence College
Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa, Lewis University
Bishop Robert Barron is an acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian. He is also the founder of the global media ministry Word on Fire, which reaches millions of people by utilizing the tools of new media to draw people into or back to the Catholic Faith. Francis Cardinal George has described him as “one of the Church’s best messengers.”
Bishop Barron and his growing Word on Fire team have released dozens of films, books, and study programs, along with an ever-growing collection of apparel and art. Bishop Barron has produced over 400 online video commentaries. The ministry strives to consistently produce high-quality productions, including brief and lively theological reviews of contemporary culture in movies, books, music, current events, and more.
The website, WordOnFire.org, reaches millions of people each year. The site hosts daily and weekly articles and video commentaries, as well as an extensive audio archive. Bishop Barron’s homilies are heard by tens of thousands of listeners each week. His regular YouTube videos have been viewed over 90 million times, and over 500,000 people receive his daily email reflections. Episodes of his podcast, The Word on Fire Show, have been downloaded over 10 million times.
Bishop Barron has been invited to speak about religion at the headquarters of Facebook, Google, and Amazon. He has keynoted many conferences and events all over the world, including the 2016 World Youth Day in Kraków and the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which marked Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States.
He has shared dialogue with Dr. Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, and William Lane Craig, among other influencers and thought leaders. Bishop Barron works with NBC News in New York as an on-air contributor and analyst. He is also a frequent commentator for the Chicago Tribune, FOX News, CNN, EWTN, Our Sunday Visitor, the Catholic Herald in London, and Catholic News Agency.
His Word on Fire Institute is a hub for spiritual and intellectual formation, training members of the Word on Fire movement to proclaim Christ in the culture.
Bishop Barron is the creator and host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award-winning documentary series about the Catholic Faith. The series has aired on hundreds of PBS stations across the world and has been used by parishes, universities, and schools as an essential resource. Since then, Bishop Barron and Word on Fire also released the follow-up documentary CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players series on the mystics, scholars, artists, and saints who shaped the Church and changed the world. The first volume of the series debuted in September 2016 and was syndicated for national television and nominated for an Emmy award.
Bishop Barron has created many other films and study programs including:
Bishop Barron is one of the most-followed Catholics in the world on social media. His work has garnered:
EWTN (The Eternal Word Television Network) and CatholicTV broadcast Bishop Barron’s videos and documentaries to a worldwide audience of over 150 million people. His weekly homilies and podcasts air on multiple radio stations to millions of listeners.
He has published numerous essays and articles on theology and the spiritual life, which appear frequently online and in numerous journals. He is a #1 Amazon bestselling author and has published many books, including:
- Light from Light: A Theological Reflection on the Nicene Creed (Word on Fire, 2021)
- Proclaiming the Power of Christ (Word on Fire, 2021)
- The Rosary (Word on Fire, 2021)
- Renewing Our Hope: Essays for the New Evangelization (Catholic University of America Press, 2020)
- The Pivotal Players: 12 Heroes Who Shaped the Church and Changed the World (Word on Fire, 2020)
- Centered: The Spirituality of Word on Fire (Word on Fire, 2020)
- Letter to a Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis (Word on Fire, 2019)
- Arguing Religion: A Bishop Speaks at Facebook and Google (Word on Fire, 2018)
- To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age (Image, 2017)
- Vibrant Paradoxes: The Both/And of Catholicism (Word on Fire, 2016)
- Exploring Catholic Theology: Essays on God, Liturgy, and Evangelization (Baker Academic, 2015)
- Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture (Word on Fire, 2015)
- 2 Samuel (Brazos, 2015)
- Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith (Image, 2011)
- Eucharist (Orbis, 2008)
- Word on Fire: Proclaiming the Power of Christ (Crossroad, 2008)
- The Priority of Christ: Toward a Post-Liberal Catholicism (Brazos, 2007)
- Bridging the Great Divide: Musings of a Post-Liberal, Post-Conservative, Evangelical Catholic (Sheed & Ward, 2004)
- The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path (Orbis, 2002)
- Heaven in Stone and Glass: Experiencing the Spirituality of the Great Cathedrals (Crossroad, 2000)
- And Now I See: A Theology of Transformation (Crossroad, 1998)
- Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master (Crossroad, 1996)
- A Study of the De potentia of Thomas Aquinas in Light of the Dogmatik of Paul Tillich (Edwin Mellen Press, 1993)
Updated February 6, 2023
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