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Jose Rolando Alvarez Lagos Appointed Bishop of Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Bishop_Alvarez_Low_Res.jpgFollowing a year filled with anticipation, on March 8 the Vatican announced the joyful news that José Rolando Alvarez Lagos has been named the new Bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. He succeeds Bishop Jorge Solorzano who was appointed Bishop of Granada, Nicaragua in March of 2010.

The Dioceses of Gaylord and Matagalpa have been linked in a special “hermanamiento” (sister relationship) since 2004. It’s the second time a new bishop has been appointed to Matagalpa since the global solidarity partnership was formed. Bishop Leopoldo Brenes, who was appointed Archbishop of Managua in 2005, along with Bishop Patrick Cooney, initially approved the agreement which has seen several exchanges of general delegations, refurbishment of a radio station, numerous medical missions to Matagalpa, shared celebrations, multiple projects and constant prayer between the two dioceses.

The newly appointed Bishop Alvarez was born in Managua on November 27, 1966. He completed his ecclesiastical studies in philosophy and theology in Guatemala and at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He received a licentiate in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Managua on December 7, 1994.

Bishop Alvarez has held various positions including Professor and Prefect of Studies of the Archdiocesan Major Seminary of Managua (1994-2006), Coordinator of the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry (since 1998), Director of the Catholic Radio Nicaragua (since 2001), Secretary of the Department of Communications Media Office of the Nicaraguan Bishops' Conference (since 2003), Secretary of Information and spokesman of the Archdiocese of Managua (from 2005), National Coordinator of Youth Ministry (since 2006), Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Managua (since 2006) and Secretary of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC) (since 2009).

Upon receiving the news of his appointment, Bishop Alvarez said that he was shocked, but very grateful. “The appointment was a real thrill,” he told a local newspaper. “It was a surprise and I’m really excited.”

Bishop Bernard Hebda immediately forwarded well wishes on behalf of the faithful of the Diocese of Gaylord saying, “Bishop, from these first moments, we open our hearts to you recognizing in you the gift with which God, having heard the prayers of your people, so dear to us, now blesses the Diocese of Matagalpa.” He added that, “It is a great pleasure to convey our most sincere congratulations on your recent appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. This has been a season of waiting and hope. We prayed to the Lord for this intention while we have continued to work to build even stronger bonds of sisterhood between our two dioceses.”

Bishop Alvarez, 44, took possession as the ninth Bishop of Matagalpa following his Episcopal Consecration at St. Peter’s Cathedral on April 2.

Please join in prayer for Bishop Alvarez and our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Matagalpa during this special time.