Bishop Soto (Ctsy Diocese of Sacramento)
Bishop William Weigand now has some help leading the massive Diocese of Sacramento, which covers 20 Northern California counties. He’s also got an eventual successor.
The 70-year-old Weigand says he’s not ready to retire yet. But, he adds, “I need help. This has been too big a job the past year with Bishop Garcia gone.”
Weigand’s referring to Bishop Richard Garcia, the former auxiliary bishop who left to lead the Monterey Diocese back in January.
On Thursday, Weigand got that help. Pope Benedict appointed Bishop Jaime Soto coadjutant bishop. Soto will not only assist Weigand, but replace him when he moves on.
Soto says his appointment will give the Diocese some peace of mind.
“Oftentimes, when a bishop retires, there’s a certain time of uncertainty as to who’s going to succeed him. Now, the people of Sacramento, as well as Bishop Weigand, they don’t have to worry about that.”
Soto has been a priest for 25 years; he’s currently the auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange.
Challenging New Job
Soto says adapting to his new job will be a challenge.
“I come from a very urban diocese. And so the more rural setting here in Sacramento is something that I am very unfamiliar with. So I’ll be leaning on Bishop Weigand as well as many of the priests and people who are more familiar with the Church’s work to help me and teach me how best to do that.”
The Sacramento Diocese spans 20 Northern California counties, from Yolo, Solano and Sacramento Counties all the way to the Oregon and Nevada borders.