CHILE, iglesia.cl / Fr. José Luis Correa •
Pope Francis has appointed as bishop of Calama the priest Tomás Abel Carrasco Cortés, until now pastor of La Sagrada Familia in the city of Los Angeles and advisor to the Madrugadores. —
The priest Tomás Abel Carrasco Cortés, was born on November 13, 1970 in El Huachi, rural sector of Santa Bárbara, Biobío region; being the third of six siblings. He received his elementary education in a rural school in Santa Barbara and his secondary education in the Liceo A-59 of Los Angeles, currently Liceo Bicentenario.
In 1994 he enrolled in the Metropolitan Seminary of Concepción to begin his priestly formation.
He was ordained deacon on March 30, 2001 and on October 31 of the same year, he received his priestly ordination from the hands of Bishop Miguel Caviedes Medina, taking his priestly motto from the Gospel of St. John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last”. Recently ordained priest, he was parochial vicar at San Diego de Alcalá Parish in Tucapel. From December 2002 to February 2004 he was also parochial administrator of St. Barbara Parish.
On April 30, 2006, he was appointed Parish Priest of San Diego de Alcalá de Tucapel Parish, a service he served until 2017. Also, in that period he served for almost two years as parish administrator in the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Chacayal, and was also the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Las Mercedes for almost seven years.
At the same time he studied Pedagogy at the University of Santo Tomas obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and the title of Professor. He was also Dean of the Cordillera zone of the Diocese of Santa Maria de los Angeles. From 2008 to 2012 he taught at the Catholic University of Concepción at the Los Angeles campus. From March 2018 to April 2022 he was Dean of the City Deanery of the Diocese of Santa Maria de Los Angeles.
“With the Gospel that Christ gave to his Church”
On October 6, 2017, he was appointed as parish priest of Holy Family Parish in the city of Los Angeles, a position he holds to date. Additionally, Priest Carrasco Cortés serves as chaplain in several schools of the John XXIII Foundation; he is diocesan advisor of the Madrugadores group and member of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Santa María de Los Angeles; he is also advisor of the diocesan Youth Ministry and in charge of the Vocational Ministry of the mentioned diocese.
Bishop-elect Tomás Carrasco expressed “I go among you with hope and joy, not with great pastoral and personal programs, but with the Gospel that Christ gave to his Church; that together we can know Him more and be witnesses and builders of his Kingdom continuing the evangelizing effort of so many pastors and lay people who have given their strength and their lives for the Church that is on pilgrimage in Calama and inner communities”.
The Permanent Deacon, Carlos Villouta, shared with us the photos of the new bishop among the madrugadores.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Esther Aragon, Monterrey, México