Military Bishopric of Bolivia
|Military Bishopric of Bolivia
Obispado Castrense de Bolivia
|Metropolitan||Immediately subject to the Holy See|
|Established||19 March 1961 (53 years ago)|
|Cathedral||cathedral of Our Lady of Luján in La Paz|
|Bishop||Oscar Omar Aparicio Céspedes|
|Emeritus Bishops||Gonzalo de Jesús María del Castillo Crespo
The Military Bishopric of Bolivia (Spanish: Obispado Castrense de Bolivia, Latin: Ordinariatus Militaris Boliviensis) is a military ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church. Immediately subject to the Holy See, it provides pastoral care to Roman Catholics serving in the Bolivian Armed Forces and their families.
On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Omar Aparicio Céspedes, until now Titular Bishop of Kition and Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of La Paz, Bolivia, as the next Roman Catholic Military Ordinary of Bolivia. The Bishop was born on September 26, 1959, in La Paz, Bolivia. Beginning in 1982, he started studying philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary, the Seminary "San Jerónimo" La Paz. On November 29, 1987, he was ordained to the presbyterate as a Catholic priest. He later studied theology again, at the Pontifical Gregorian University at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, from 1992 to 1994, obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.). From 1988 to 1989, in the La Paz area, he was pastor in Huarina, Bolivia (in an outlying rural area), and a Trainer in the Major Seminary, the Seminary "San Jerónimo" La Paz. From 1990 to 1992, he was a Trainer at the National Major Seminary "San José", in Cochabamba, Bolivia. On his return from postgraduate theological studies in Rome, he was appointed as a parish priest (Parochial Vicar, or Associate Pastor) of the Parish of Saint Anthony, in La Paz, serving from 1994 to 1995. Later, Bishop Céspedes was a Trainer at the Major Seminary, the Seminary "San Jerónimo" La Paz. He then served as Spiritual Director there from 1996 to 1997, and was subsequently appointed Rector of the same Seminary, in office from 1998 to 2002. On May 29, 2002, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II to serve as Titular Bishop of Kition and Auxiliary Bishop to the Archbishop of La Paz. He received Episcopal Ordination and Consecration and was installed as Auxiliary Bishop on July 25, 2002. In 2009, he was appointed to serve as the Secretary-General of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference.
It was created as a military vicariate on 19 March 1961, with the first military vicar appointed on 26 July 1961. It was elevated to a military ordinariate on 21 July 1986. The military ordinary's seat is located at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luján (Catedral Nuestra Señora de Luján) in the Irpavi district of the city of La Paz.
- Luis Aníbal Rodríguez Pardo (appointed 26 July 1961 – translated to the Archdiocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra 30 July 1975)
- René Fernández Apaza (appointed 30 July 1975 – became military ordinary 21 July 1986)
- René Fernández Apaza (appointed 21 July 1986 – resigned 17 May 1986)
- Mario Lezana Vaca (appointed 17 May 1986 - retired 14 April 2000)
- Gonzalo de Jesús María del Castillo Crespo, O.C.D. (appointed 14 April 2000 - retire in 2012)
- Oscar Omar Aparicio Céspedes (since 4 April 2012)