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Bishop Bernabé de Jesús Sagastume of San Marcos, Guatemala, in Diocese of Wilmington to mark partnership


Bishop Bernabé de Jesús Sagastume Lemus of the Diocese of San Marcos, Guatemala, will arrive in the Diocese of Wilmington on May 6 for a weeklong visit throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland as part of the solidarity partnership between the two dioceses.

Bishop Sagastume, appointed to lead the San Marcos diocese in January 2021 and installed on March 25 of that year. He is a Capuchin Franciscan priest.

The bishop has a packed schedule while in the Diocese of Wilmington. He will say two Masses on Saturday at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Easton, Md., and another on Sunday morning. He will then travel to Cecil County, Md., for a Mass at 2 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Church in Chesapeake City, Md., to mark the 20th anniversary of the solidarity partnership. A banquet will follow at Schaefer’s Canal House.

On Monday, Bishop Sagastume will begin his day at St. Ann School in Wilmington with a visit at 10 a.m. After lunch, he will be at the diocesan offices in Wilmington and will meet with Bishop Koenig at 3 p.m. He will spend Tuesday with officials from the Ministry of Caring, the social services organization founded by Brother Ronald Giannone, himself a Capuchin Fransican priest.

Wednesday opens with Bishop Sagastume traveling to the offices of Catholic Charities in Wilmington, followed by a meeting with Father Carlos Ochoa, the pastor of Holy Angels Parish in Newark. Later that day, at 7 p.m., the bishop will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Georgetown.

On Thursday, the bishop will head to Immaculate Conception Parish in Marydel, Md., where he will meet with the Guatemalan community and may celebrate Mass. He will return to Guatemala on May 12.

The late Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli and Bishop Alvaro L. Ramazzini began the partnership in 2003. It was the formalization of a relationship that had existed between the two dioceses for a while, according to the Diocese of Wilmington. Bishop Ramazzini had come to the Diocese of Wilmington to meet with Guatemalan immigrants who had settled in lower Delaware and on the Eastern Shore, and he eventually met Bishop Saltarelli.

Delegations from each diocese have visited the other country periodically throughout the years. Bishop Ramazzini was appointed to the Diocese of Huehuetenango in 2012. He was subsequently named a cardinal.

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