On March 23, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, 52, who has served as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of San Diego since 2002, as the fourth bishop for the Diocese of Oakland, Calif.. The installation will take place on May 5, in Oakland’s new Cathedral of Christ the Light.
“I am grateful to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as well as humbled and honored, for the trust he has placed in me in naming me the fourth Bishop of Oakland,” Bishop Cordileone said in a statement. “I ask for your prayers especially at this time, that I prove myself to be worthy of this trust. In a statement issued in San Diego, Bishop Cordileone continued, “I am also grateful to Bishop Brom, Bishop Chavez, my brother priests and all with whom I have ministered in the Diocese of San Diego, which will always have a special place in my heart. I now look forward to ministry with the priests and priestly people of the Diocese of Oakland where, after the manner of the Good Shepherd, I hope to lay down my life for those entrusted to my pastoral care.”
In Oakland, the newly appointed Bishop lamented the city’s recent wave of violence that left four Oakland police officers dead, offering his prayers for the suffering families that “through faith in the God of life, they may find peace in the midst of suffering, light in the midst of darkness, hope in the midst of despair. In so many ways,” he continued, “we live in a deeply wounded culture in need of much healing, but we are not without hope.”
Bishop-Elect Cordileone was born in San Diego, California, and entered the seminary there in 1975. He received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of San Diego, then continued studies in theology at the pontifical North American College, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Ordained a priest for the Dioese of San Diego on July 9, 1982, he served as associate pastor of St. Martin of Tours parish, and then returned to the Gregorian University in Rome where he completed a doctorate in Canon Law in 1989.
He returned to San Diego, serving in various diocesan positions until 1991, where he served as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Calexico, located on the California/Mexican border, through 1995. He returned to Rome and for the next seven years Bishop Cordileone served as an assistant at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest judicial court. On July 5, 2002, Pope John Paul II appointed him as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of San Diego. As Bishop of Oakland, Bishop Cordileone will be the chief shepherd for over 550,000 Catholics who reside in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The Diocese of Oakland was created in 1962 and is comprised of 84 parishes within Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
The First Bishop of Oakland was the Most Reverend Floyd Begin who served from 1962 until his death in 1977. He was succeeded by Bishop John Cummins who retired in 2003 and was succeeded by Bishop Vigneron. Bishop Vigneron was appointed Archbishop of Detroit in January of this year and Fr. Daniel Danielson has been acting as Diocesan Administrator since that time.