Bishop Ricardo Ramirez recovering from illness

This article appears in the Immigration and the Church feature series. View the full series.
Bishop Ramirez , center right, concelebrates Mass July 14 in El Paso, Texas, at La Placita de Leones at the foot of the Santa Fe International Bridge to pray for an end to border violence. (CNS/Christ Chavez)

Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces N.M., who spoke at the Celebration conference on immigration in San Antonio, Jan. 12-14, is reportedly still recovering from a cold that developed into pneumonia and hospitalization when he got back to his diocese.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, Ramirez suffered some broken ribs from coughing, and this prolonged his recovery time. The story also quotes the bishop as saying he would be submitting his resignation Sept. 12, when he turns 75, as all bishops are required to do. Whether it is accepted and when is be up to Rome, he said.

Ramirez was appointed in 1982 and is the first and only bishop Las Cruces has had. During his years of service, Ramirez has been active in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he sits on the International Policy Committee, Committee on the Liturgy, Committee on the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, and Committee on Hispanic Affairs. He formerly chaired the Committee on the Church in Latin America and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Ramirez spoke at the Celebration conference about his experience concelebrating with other U.S. and Mexican bishops at the fenced border separating the two countries. The title of his talk was “Eucharist Without Borders: The Church’s Vision for Immigration Reform.” The full text is available on the Celebration Web site at

We wish Bishop Ramirez a full and speedy recovery.

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