Zarama was installed during an invitation-only Mass at the newly-dedicated Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. Pope Francis named Zarama, 58, the new bishop on July 5.
Zarama comes to Raleigh after serving more than two decades as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Zarama's message to the packed cathedral centered around the moment he was first asked to move to Raleigh and his decision to go where he was called."
Resistance is tough but challenges us to grow," said Zarama. "I was doing fine, but the Lord is calling me to be and to discover something more beautiful and for that, I count on all of you to help me. Please help me with your prayers. Give me your hands that we can walk together, pray together, and celebrate together."
Born in Colombia, Zarama became a U.S. citizen on July 4, 2000. Ahead of his installation, the native-Spanish speaker said he looks forward to leading a diocese of about 500,000 Catholics across 54 counties, in which diocese officials estimate about half are Hispanic.
During the installation mass, Zarama called the church to boldly live out its faith.
"Each one of us with our own gifts, we can shine," he said. "And together we can build this beautiful church that God wants us to be. Not only this beautiful temple, but a temple of people."