Saturday, June 10, 2017


June, with no laid out plan, seems to be dedicated to missionaries, who were from the USA, or served here and lived within our lifetime.  This next was also a Jesuit. 

SERVANT of GOD BISHOP ENRIQUE SAN PEDRO, SJ was  a native of Cuba and a former missionary. He became the fourth bishop of the Brownsville Diocese (Texas).

He was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1926, where he lived until he left in 1946. He entered the Society of Jesus on Dec. 7, 1941 and was ordained a priest on March 18, 1957. 

Bishop San Pedro was appointed the first Hispanic auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1986-  until 1991. At the time of his ordination as bishop, he was only the third Jesuit to be named a bishop in the United States.

Prior to his ordination as a priest in 1957, he received a master’s degree in Classical Literature from St. Stanislaus College, Salamanca, Spain in 1947, and a Licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of Comillas, Santander, Spain in 1950.

Bishop San Pedro continued his studies earning a Licentiate in Theology from the Leopold-Franzens University, Innsbruck, Austria in 1958 and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the same university in 1965. He also did postgraduate work at the Franz-Joseph University in Vienna, Austria from 1958-1959. From 1960 to 1964 he attended the Pontifical Biblical Institute where he obtained the Licentiate in Holy Scripture in 1962 and finished the following year as a candidate for the doctorate in Rome.

Bishop San Pedro spoke seven languages and served as a missionary in the Philippines and China.

Following his studies, he taught at various universities until this appointment as auxiliary bishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese. He was in Vietnam from 1963 to 1975 but left because of the Communist takeover. He also served in Suva, Fiji, 1978-1980; and Boynton Beach, Florida, 1981-1985.

Lydia Pesina, director of the Family Life Office, said Bishop San Pedro “was an educator ‘par excellence.’ In the tradition of the Jesuits, he believed in education and formation for all involved in parish ministries.”

Bishop San Pedro had few possessions other than his books, as he was an avid reader, learner, and teacher. He said that he read whenever he had a chance such as waiting at airports.

He quipped that he gave his day to service to the Lord, but after his night-time prayers he would say something like, “I did what I could today for your people, but now I leave them in your hands, Lord; I am going to bed.”

In March 1993, Bishop San Pedro was part of a bishop’s delegation to address the United Nations on the plight of refugees, many of whom had been sent from south Florida to his diocese.

Bishop San Pedro, age 68, died of cancer on July 17, 1994, in Miami Beach, Fla. He was buried in a section reserved for bishops and priests in the Catholic cemetery “Our Lady of Mercy” in Miami.

Bishop San Pedro’s motto: “Most gladly I will spend myself and be spent for your sakes.” – 2 Corinthians 12:15

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