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WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Ricardo Ramírez, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and named Bishop Oscar Cantú, 46, auxiliary bishop of San Antonio, to succeed him.
The appointment was publicized in Washington, January 10, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Oscar Cantú was born December 5, 1966, in Houston, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Dallas and his master of arts and master of divinity degrees from the University of St. Thomas, Houston.
He was ordained a priest in 1994 and named auxiliary bishop of San Antonio in 2008.
Bishop Ramírez was the first bishop of the Las Cruces Diocese, which was established in 1982.
Ricardo Ramírez was born in Bay City, Texas, September 12, 1936. Both his parents and their families were migrant workers in southern Texas. He attended public schools in Bay City and graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, in 1959.
Following studies at St. Basil's Seminary in Toronto and the major seminary in Mexico City, he was ordained to the priesthood as a member of the Basilian Fathers in 1966.
Bishop Ramírez served in parishes in Canada, Detroit and Mexico. He was on the staff of the Mexican-American Cultural Center in San Antonio when he was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Antonio in 1981.
The Las Cruces diocese includes 132,646 Catholics, or 24 percent of the 549,219 people in the entire diocese.
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