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Diocese of Las Cruces Celebrates Many Milestones and Legacy of Bishop Ramírez, CSB

September 27, 2016

This year marks many milestones for Bishop Emeritus Ricardo Ramírez, CSB, of the Diocese of Las Cruces, as he celebrates his 50th year of ordination, 35 years as a bishop, his 80th birthday, and the publication of his first book, “Power from the Margins: The Emergence of the Latino in the Church and in Society”.

Ramírez served the Diocese of Las Cruces as its first Bishop from its inception on October 18, 1982 until January 10, 2013. To celebrate his legacy, many events were held around the Diocese.

Celebrations kicked off on Thursday, September 8 with a dinner held in his honour at at Finley Hall, next to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Several lay people, priests, and a bishop spoke to honor Bishop Ramírez. Music was provided by the Catrina String Quartet. Among the gifts was a new barbeque smoker, which was duly broken in a few days later.

The dinner was followed by a mass celebrated at the Cathedral. In attendance were Archbishop Emeritus Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe; Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso; Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson; Bishop James Wall of Gallup; and many priests from the diocese, including Father Edward Heidt, CSB and Father David Klein, CSB. Guests on the altar were Father Morgan Rice, CSB representing the Basilian community and the General Council, and the Bishop’s ordination classmate, Father Raymond Páramo, CSB. Bishop Ramírez was the prime celebrant and he gave an excellent homily. After the mass, a reception was held in Finley Hall where Bishop Ramírez signed copies of his new book, while an excellent Mariachi band entertained guests.

The celebrations continued on Friday, September 9 with a Symphony Under the Stars concert performed by the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra with the University Choir, which featured patriotic music and ended with the Tchaikovsky 1812 overture and fireworks. Bishop Ramírez gave an invocation, which was eloquently patriotic and religious. The audience wished him a happy birthday.

On Sunday, September 11 a classical concert was held at the Cathedral of Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Catrina String Quartet played first and then the University Choir sang. The concert included some comments from the conductors and Bishop Ramírez calling attention to classical composers of Latino background. The conductor of the Symphony Orchestra commented that over the years Bishop Ramírez had educated him to the existence of music he had not known previously.

Monday, September 12 was Bishop Ramírez’s 80th birthday. A barbeque for family and close friends was held at his residence. The new smoker was used to great effect.

Bishop Ramírez also traveled to Toronto, Ontario this summer for his ordination class’ 50th reunion.

For more about his book, click here to read the article in the Las Cruces Sun-News.

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