Bishop Myron J. Cotta appointed new Bishop for the Diocese of Stockton 
   
 
   
 

The Diocese of Stockton is very pleased to announce that Pope Francis appointed Bishop Myron Cotta to succeed Bishop Stephen Blaire as Bishop of Stockton. Bishop Blaire has served the Stockton Diocese since March 16, 1999, and submitted his resignation to the Holy Father when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on December 22, 2016. Until Bishop Cotta’s installation, Bishop Blaire is serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese. Bishop Cotta will be the sixth Bishop of Stockton.

   
 

Bishop Cotta’s installation will take place on Thursday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Stanislaus in Modesto. Evening Prayer prior to the Installation will be celebrated at the Cathedral of the Annunciation on March 14. Both events are by ticket only. The Mass of Installation will be live streamed via KNXT Catholic Television and the faithful will be able to access it through their website.

   
 
   
 

Bishop Cotta was introduced January 23 at a news conference with Bishop Blaire at the Diocesan Pastoral Center. View a short video of the news conference from “The Modesto Bee” at http://www.modbee.com/living/article196142004.html.

   
 

In his statement, Bishop Cotta thanked Pope Francis for his appointment. “It is humbling and an honor to be called by God to this ministry of service to the church, in particular to the Diocese of Stockton. As I prepare to leave the Diocese of Sacramento, I thank God for the call to the episcopacy and for the many blessings that I have experienced over 30 years of ordained priesthood among God’s people within the Central Valley of California.

 

“I thank God for the opportunity to have served and shared the ministry of auxiliary bishop under Bishop Jaime Soto, along with the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Sacramento. This experience has significantly contributed to my ongoing pastoral formation.

 

“I now look forward to this transition and to work with the Pastoral Center Team and Staff, here, in Stockton. As I anticipate my installation as the 6th Bishop of Stockton on March 15, I also look forward to meeting, and sharing the ministry, that lies before us, as I work with the Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Diocese of Stockton.”

 

“Let us keep each other in Prayer as we continue to seek God’s Will in all that we do. Together, let us move forward in building up the Kingdom of God within the heart of the Central Valley, here, in the Diocese of Stockton.”

 

Bishop Cotta, 64, has served in the Sacramento Diocese since March 25, 2014. He also currently serves the diocese as Vicar General and Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. He was instrumental in overseeing prison and jail ministry in the Sacramento Diocese. Bishop Cotta speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish.

 

Prior to his appointment as auxiliary bishop, as a priest of the Diocese of Fresno, he served as Moderator of the Curia for the diocese for 15 years. He also served as diocesan administrator following the death of Bishop John Steinbock in December 2010 and prior to the appointment of Bishop Armando Ochoa of Fresno.

   
 
   
 

Born on March 21, 1953, he grew up on a dairy farm in the Merced County community of Dos Palos and is the son of Daniel and Mary Cotta and the grandson of Portuguese immigrants from the Azores Island of Terceira. He attended both public and Catholic elementary schools, including West Hills Community College in Coalinga, before entering St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif., for studies. He was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 12, 1987. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of divinity degree from St. John’s Seminary.

 

His pastoral assignments in the Fresno Diocese included serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony Parish in Atwater (1987-1989); administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Laton (1989-1992); and pastor of Our Lady of Miracles Parish in Gustine (1992-1999).

 

 

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