Diocese of Monterey asks prayers and support for Bishop Richard J. Garcia, who is in early stages of Alzheimer's disease

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento has issued the following statement about Bishop Richard J. Garcia of Monterey, who has been confirmed to be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Bishop Garcia served as the fourth Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento from 1997 to 2006.

“Bishop Garcia possesses a resilient hope and a resolute love for the Lord Jesus. I am certain that these personal graces will sustain him for the journey ahead, along with the companionship of our abiding prayers and affection.”

In a public statement issued April 27, the Diocese of Monterey said in recent weeks Bishop Garcia expressed that he did not feel well and decided to clear his calendar to take time to rest and seek medical attention. “Last week, it was confirmed that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” the diocese announced. “This news is difficult to learn, but Bishop Garcia has great faith and a deep spiritual life to assist him in facing this diagnosis.”

“At this time no further decisions or actions have been made. Please pray for Bishop Garcia, his family, his staff and our entire diocese. At the same time, please respect his privacy. In this time of adjustment, please refrain from calling him, visiting him, dropping off gifts at his home, but rather, please send him a note or card with the promise of your support and prayers.”

The diocese asked that notes or cards be addressed to: Bishop Richard Garcia, c/o Diocese of Monterey, P.O. Box 2048, Monterey, CA 93942.

Bishop Garcia served as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento for nine years. He was named by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 25, 1997, after he served since 1973 as a priest of the Diocese of San Jose. He was ordained by Bishop William K. Weigand in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento on Jan. 28, 1998.

While serving as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, he was Moderator of the Curia and Vicar for Hispanics and other ethnic ministries. In addition, he represented the church to countless pastoral and civic groups and, in particular, gave special attention to the young people of the diocese in Catholic schools, parish faith formation and youth ministries.

On Dec. 19, 2006, Pope Benedict XI appointed him as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Monterey. He was installed during a Mass in the Monterey Convention Center on Jan. 30, 2007.