Pope Francis Names Two Auxiliary Bishops for Washington
Local priests Msgr. Juan Esposito-Garcia and Father Evelio Menjivar to be ordained bishops in February
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cardinal Wilton Gregory of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese is pleased to announce that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, December 19, 2022 named two priests of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington as new Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese.
Monsignor Juan Esposito-Garcia, 48, currently serving as an official in the Dicastery for Bishops at the Vatican, and Father Evelio Menjivar-Ayala, 52, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Landover Hills, Maryland, they both will be ordained as bishops on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Cardinal Gregory said: “Today our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has blessed the Archdiocese of Washington with the appointment of Bishop-Elect Juan Esposito-Garcia and Bishop-Elect Evelio Menjivar-Ayala as our new Auxiliary Bishops. They have been selected from a zealous and generous local presbyterate, and now they are appointed as bishops to serve all of Christ’s flock in this local Church. They represent the goodness of all of our people, and both will dedicate themselves tirelessly to the promotion of the Gospel and the mission of Christ in serving with me and all of our clergy and faithful.”
Cardinal Gregory will hold a press conference today, December 19, at 10 a.m. to welcome the two new auxiliary bishops.
Introduction of two new Auxiliary Bishops
Monday, December 19, 2022 | 10 a.m. ET
Pastoral Center of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington
5001 Eastern Avenue
Livestream link: https://youtu.be/nITH16nU0tA
Bishop-Elect Esposito was ordained to the priesthood for The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington on June 14, 2008. He was born January 10, 1974, in San Luis, Argentina. After obtaining a law degree at Catholic University of Cuyo in San Luis, Argentina, he came to the United States, where he completed his ecclesiastical studies and earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Moral Theology from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He holds both a licentiate and a Doctorate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Bishop-Elect Esposito’s assignments in the Archdiocese of Washington have included positions as parochial vicar at the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville, Maryland, at St. Mark the Evangelist in Hyattsville, Maryland, and at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Maryland, and as pro tem parochial vicar at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, Maryland. He also was adjunct professor of canon law and assistant spiritual director at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.
Bishop-Elect Esposito also served in Archdiocesan roles in the Metropolitan Tribunal, on the Seminary Admission Committee, as an instructor for the Marriage Preparation Program and as a member of the Committee for the Archdiocesan Synod. He has served since 2018 as an official in the Dicastery for Bishops in Vatican City. He speaks English, Spanish and Italian. He is thought to be the first native of Argentina named to be a bishop in the United States.
He was named a Chaplain of His Holiness, with the title of monsignor, in 2020.
Bishop-Elect Menjivar is believed to be the first bishop for the United States who was born in El Salvador. He was ordained to the priesthood for The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington on May 29, 2004. He was born August 14, 1970, in Chalatenango, El Salvador. He came to the United States with his brother in 1990.
Bishop-Elect Menjivar attended St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, Florida, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He attended the North American College in Rome and obtained a master’s degree in Theology from the Saint Thomas Aquinas University “Angelicum” in 2002. He pursued licentiate studies at the Pontifical Scalabrinian Institute for Pastoral Theology for Human Mobility in Rome before his ordination.
Bishop-Elect Menjivar’s assignments in The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington have included posts as parochial vicar at Mother Seton parish in Germantown, Maryland, at St. Bartholomew parish in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. and as administrator at Our Lady Queen of the Americas parish in Washington, D.C. Since 2017, he has served as pastor of St. Mary’s parish in Landover Hills. He speaks English, Spanish, and Italian.
He serves as dean of Middle Prince George’s County deanery, is a member of the Priest Personnel Board, and is a member of the Archdiocesan Child Protection Advisory Board.
During his ministry, he has actively supported workers and promoted social justice for immigrants.
They will join Auxiliary Bishop Roy Campbell and Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville in serving the Catholic Church in Maryland and Washington alongside Cardinal Gregory.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to more than 667,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 90 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.