Luis Rafael Zarama

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Luis Rafael Zarama
Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta
Titular Bishop of Bararus
Archdiocese Atlanta
Appointed July 27, 2009
Installed September 29, 2009
Other posts Titular Bishop of Bararus
Ordination November 27, 1993
Consecration July 27, 2009
by Wilton Daniel Gregory, Eusebius J. Beltran, and John Francis Donoghue
Personal details
Born (1958-11-28) November 28, 1958 (age 58)
Pasto, Colombia
Nationality  Colombian
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
Luis Rafael Zarama
Coat of arms of Luis Rafael Zarama Pasqualetto.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Luis Rafael Zarama (born November 28, 1958) is a Colombian-American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who serves as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia.


Early life and education[edit]

Luis Zarama was born in Pasto, Nariño, the oldest of the six children of Rafael and Maria Zarama.[1]

Zarama attended the seminary of Pasto and the Universidad Mariana, where he studied philosophy and theology from 1982 to 1987.[2] He began his studies in canon law at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá in 1987, and earned his licentiate in 1991.

In the mid-1980s and while he attended seminary, Zarama also taught at high schools.[1]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Emigrating to the United States in 1991, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on November 27, 1993.[3]

Zarama then served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in Atlanta until 1996.[2] From 1996 to 2006, he was administrator of St. Helena Mission in Clayton and pastor of St. Mark Parish in Clarkesville. He became an American citizen on July 4, 2000.

On becoming a US citizen, Zarama is quoted by Rebecca Rakoczy in Catholic Online, stating:

I'm happy here, I choose to be here, and I feel like I'm part of the system as a citizen.[4]

Within the Court of Appeals of the Ecclesiastical Province of Atlanta, he has been advocate (1993–1997) and defender of the bond (1997–present).[2]

Zarama was named assistant director of the Vocations Office in 2000 and vicar general in 2006.[2] He also has been a member of both the Committee for Continuing Education of Priests since 1996, and the Priest Personnel Board since 2004. In 2007, he was raised to the rank of Chaplain of His Holiness.[2]

In addition to his duties as vicar general, he became judicial vicar in 2008[5] and serves as the Archbishop's delegate to North Georgia's Hispanic community.[6]

Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta[edit]

On July 27, 2009, Zarama was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta, and Titular Bishop of Bararus by Pope Benedict XVI.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on September 29, 2009 from Archbishop Wilton Gregory at the Cathedral of Christ the King.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta
Succeeded by