His Excellency, Bishop Myron J. Cotta was ordained a bishop today at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, and will serve as auxiliary bishop for the Diocese. Prior to the Holy Father elevating him to this new position, he was the vicar general for the Diocese of Fresno. He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, and grew up in California’s Central Valley.
A few interesting things that I noticed looking over the program for the installation mass: first, he is named a Titular Bishop of the Diocese of Muteci. What does that mean? A titular bishop is one who is not in charge of a diocese. But since “bishop” means “overseer” of a Christian community in Greek, and since there are more bishops than actual dioceses, he is appointed to a “titular see”, i.e., to be the head of a diocese that effectively no longer functionally exists. According to this, the Diocese of Muteci is “perhaps near Ain-El-Anab in today’s Algeria” and “an ancient episcopal see of the Roman province of Mauritania Caesarean”.
Second, his coat of arms. According to the same program linked above, “For an auxiliary bishop, a fully empowered bishop but without territorial jurisdiction, the shield of his arms is composed completely by his personal design, in this case they are the arms of Bishop Myron J. Cotta…. For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Cotta has chosen the phrase “GRACE AND MERCY,” for this sums up all that God’s relationship with His People is all about. To reflect the bishop’s heritage, as an Azorean, the motto is rendered in Portuguese.”
Third, there was some speculation among our group of friends as to who would consecrate Bishop Cotta. Turns out that the privilege belonged to Bishop Jaime Soto, ordinary of the Diocese of Sacramento, which seems appropriate. Co-consecrators were Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop of Fresno and Most Reverend Joseph Madera, MSpS, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of the Military Services. Nearly thirty other prelates also attended and concelebrated the mass.
A very good (ordained) friend sent me this picture from the ordination mass today: