Raleigh's new Bishop to be officially installed Tuesday

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Newly-named Raleigh Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama talked to the media Monday, ahead of his official installation on Tuesday.

"I have concerns," Bishop Zarama said. "I'm very nervous but at the same time I feel peace and I find joy."

The Mass of Installation for Bishop Zarama is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the newly-dedicated Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.

Pope Francis named Father Zarama as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh on July 5th.

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The 58-year-old served for more than two decades in Atlanta.

He admits he's still getting used to Raleigh.

"I've been here in Raleigh for a week, but I am still using my GPS to be able to find where I am," Bishop Zarama said. "Everything is new but at the same time everything is beautiful."

The 58-year-old is a native of Colombia and became a U.S. citizen on July 4th, 2000. He will be leading a diocese, serving 54 counties, with about 500,000 Catholics. Diocese officials estimate about half are Hispanic. Bishop Zarama emphasized he is here to serve everybody in the diocese.
Diocese of Raleigh Population Info

"That is the reason why the Holy Father, I think, sent me here 'to serve the whole diocese' with the advantage that with the Hispanic and the Latino community, I will be free to speak my own language, that is Spanish," he said. "That will make my life at that moment, easier."

Parishioners will be gathering at 7 p.m. Monday for evening prayers leading up to the Bishop's installation.

The installation Mass is Tuesday at 2 p.m. It is invitation only.

In 1993, Zarama was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named him as Titular Bishop of Bararus and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was ordained to the Episcopacy later that year.
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