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Bishop Robert E. Barron


2019 Lumen Tranquillum


     Bishop Robert E. Barron is a bridge between the ancient Catholic traditions and the modern Catholic lifestyle. So much so, that the late Cardinal Francis George described him as “one of the Church’s best messengers.”


     The founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, and the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Barron does not see rest as an option. He is a #1 Amazon bestselling author, having published more than 15 books. A filmmaker, Bishop Barron has created 11 films including the Emmy-nominated Catholicism, which aired on PBS, and its sequels Catholicism: The New Evangelization and Catholicism: The Pivotal Players. He is also an on on-air contributor and analyst with NBC News, and a contributing commentator for the Chicago Tribune, FOX News, CNN, EWTN, London’s Catholic Herald and the Catholic News Agency. Additionally, Bishop Barron hosts the podcast The Word on Fire Show. His latest project is the Word on Fire Institute, a new hub for spiritual and intellectual formation. 



His ministry website reaches millions each year and his YouTube videos have been viewed over 30 million times. Understanding how impactful his words can be, Bishop Barron has been invited to speak at the headquarters of both Facebook and Google. Not least of all, he delivered the keynote address at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which marked Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States.


Bishop Barron was born in Chicago in 1959 but spent his early childhood years in Detroit before his family relocated to Western Springs. He attended Fenwick High School as a freshman but transferred to Benet Academy, where he graduated in 1977. He attended Notre Dame University as a freshman before transferring to Mundelein Seminary.


He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of America in 1982, and was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago four years later. Bishop Barron earned his doctorate in sacred theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris in 1992 the same year he was appointed to the theological faculty at Mundelein Seminary, his alma mater. He is the holder of five other advanced degrees from a variety of higher education institutions.


Bishop Barron has served as a visiting professor at Notre Dame and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, and was twice a scholar in residence at the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican. He served as rector/president of Mundelein Seminary University of St. Mary of the Lake from 2012 to 2015.


Bishop Barron was ordained a bishop on September 8, 2015.