Pope Names Jesuit to Lead Oakland Diocese
Bishop-designate Michael Barber has served in numerous capacities, including as a Marine chaplain in Iraq and as a missionary in Samoa.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed Jesuit Father Michael C. Barber the next bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, Calif.
Bishop-designate Barber is currently the director of spiritual formation at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., and has been serving in that capacity since 2010.
The announcement of his appointment was made on May 3 by the Holy See Press Office. He will succeed Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who now leads the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
The bishop-designate entered the Jesuits in 1973 and was ordained a priest in 1985.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history at Gonzaga University in 1978, completed his theological studies at Regis College at the University of Toronto in 1985, and obtained an ecclesiastical license in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1989.
At 59 years old, Bishop-designate Barber has served in numerous capacities, including as a missionary in Western Samoa, an assistant professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, a tutor and chaplain at the University of Oxford and as chaplain for the U.S. Navy Reserve.
During his time at the Gregorian, he taught dogmatic theology and conducted research on unpublished manuscripts of sermons by Blessed John Henry Newman.
His time as a military chaplain included being called to active duty in 2003 to serve the 6,000 troops in the 4th Marine Air Wing who participated in the invasion of Iraq.
He speaks English, Italian, Spanish and Latin.