Sitting down with Rochester-Winona Diocese Bishop Robert Barron

One of the Bishop's first big projects is moving the pastoral center to Rochester, and he says the process is moving smoothly.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 5:31 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Diocese of Winona-Rochester is continuing to work toward its move to Rochester after it made the announcement back in November of last year.

The pastoral center’s new building is being built on 19th Street NW near Lourdes High School. Crews plan to break ground this spring and open by next spring.

Bishop Robert Barron moved to Rochester last June from California, but he grew up in Chicago.

“It felt like coming home to me, and coming back to the Midwest and the people here remind me of the people I grew up with,” he said.

One of his first big projects is moving the pastoral center to Rochester, and he says the process is moving smoothly.

“It moves me a little more central so I can visit people more easily. It puts us in contact with this vibrant, urban center with Mayo Clinic and all of that. I’m just very pleased about that,” he said.

Bishop Barron is also involved in online sermons called Word on Fire, and his studio is moving downtown. He’s hoping to be up and running there by April.

“With my hat as Bishop of the Diocese on, but also my Word on Fire hat, I want the church to be right in the center of these cultural institutions,” he said.

We then talked about his reaction to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade which would have turned fifty years old this Sunday.

“As we know, the battle goes to all the states, and it’s the state legislatures that now have to make that determination, but anything that moves in the direction of the legal protection of the unborn, the church is in favor of that,” he said.

We also caught up on his reaction to the passing of Pope Benedict, who Bishop Barron saw speak in Rome.

“He spoke with such clarity and depth and passion and obvious love for the Lord,” he said.

He says he was saddened by the news but carries Pope Benedict’s legacy with him and his work.

“Don’t give answers to questions no one is asking- but find out what is the question animating a great text, and then move into that space,” he said.

Also new to the Diocese is the Eucharistic Congress in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester this summer. The event hosted by Bishop Barron will be held on June 10 in Mankato.