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Bishop Delgado gives his views on ministry — and his favorite film and TV show

Bishop Delgado Q&A

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Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado likes to collect mementoes from mission trips he's led abroad.

Photographer: Jim Davis

Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado likes to collect mementoes from mission trips he's led abroad.

Bishop Enrique Delgado will soon share shepherding duties with Archbishop Thomas Wenski. But he also has a personal side that he shared with the Florida Catholic. Here's what he told us.

How do you feel as the first Peruvian bishop in U.S.?

Surprised. Just an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I never expected this.

Do you have any special gifts that enable you to be a priest or a bishop?

I don’t like to talk about gifts for myself. I always like to work and make things happen, and for others to define me. Whatever challenges I have, I confront with the reality of the gospel. My motto is Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Do you have a philosophy of ministry?

Everybody has a call in the vineyard of the Lord. Everybody has a talent. You have to be able to see in the people which talents they have. It's very important for a pastor to discern those abilities.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the Church today?

We need to make people come back to the Church. We need to go to the outskirts of the city, outside the walls of the parish. This is the new evangelization.

What do you expect to be your biggest challenges as a bishop?

For me, challenges are opportunities to develop, to grow, to serve. But the main one, I guess, is to be a bishop for the people. To be with them. Like in this parish. I make sure to be with them for Mass, confirmation, celebrations, hospital visits, or a crisis involving a child. At the bishop's level, that will be a challenge. I'll lose a little of the feeling of closeness to the people. [But] I still want to be reachable. All my life, I've kept open doors.

What you do on your day off?

I really don’t take a day off. I enjoy being with the people. I'd rather go on missions. Like in the parish, or to Peru or Haiti, or the Dominican Republic. In South Florida, we've gone to Belle Glade and given away backpacks [to school children].

Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado shows the zuchetto, the skullcap, given to him by Archbishop Thomas Wenski after announcing his appointment as auxiliary  bishop of the archdiocese. Father Delgado said he was to wear it until his formal ordination as bishop, scheduled for Dec. 7.

Photographer: Jim Davis

Bishop-elect Enrique Delgado shows the zuchetto, the skullcap, given to him by Archbishop Thomas Wenski after announcing his appointment as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese. Father Delgado said he was to wear it until his formal ordination as bishop, scheduled for Dec. 7.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

I like to be with my family in Peru. I like to go to Oxapampa. My father and brother live there and grow coffee.

Do you have a favorite kind of music?

I love music. When you're inspired by it, it reveals divinity. St. Augustine said that when you sing, you pray twice. I always want good services with good music. People come for a spiritual moment and need that kind of connection.

Myself, I'm more traditional, maybe because I'm 61. I'm not much into contemporary music. But anything that speaks to other generations is good and right.

Do you have a favorite movie? 

I like films on the lives of saints and popes. My favorite is "Brother Sun, Sister Moon," about St. Francis of Assisi. He has always inspired me since my youth.

Do you have a favorite TV series? 

Anthony Bourdain [host of CNN's "Parts Unknown"]. I like to watch him travel the world. And I like the cooking channel. Sometimes I have Peruvian and Haitian foods.

Do you collect something?

One of my hobbies is traveling all over the world: Fatima, Germany, Italy of course, and Germany and Japan. My shelf has a lot of things I've brought back. In my house, there are small plates of places I've been. Others are gifts from parishioners.

The Holy Land is my favorite spot. I've gone there more than 10 times. Every time, it's just like a retreat. My favorite places are the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Mount of Beatitudes. And Bethlehem, of course.

What person do you admire most? 

Pope John Paul II. He was my inspiration in life. He visited us in Peru. When you saw him, you had a sense of supernatural peace. And I like all the things he did during his tenure. He was always concerned with the welfare of the people, and with freedom in communist countries. He was a pope for that age.

If you could ask God one question, it would be?

"Why me?" (laughs) You have to have a sense of humor. That's the story of my life. As an engineer, I had everything planned until I die. But when I say something, God says different. So I go with God, because he knows better.

What would you like most to be remembered for?

I never think about that. I'd rather work, bless people, build the Kingdom and let the people decide. But I hope I'll be remembered as a good priest.  

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