By ZENIT Staff

The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Gonzalo De Villa y Vásquez, S.J., as metropolitan archbishop of the archdiocese of Santiago de Guatemala, Guatemala, transferring him from the diocese of Sololá-Chimaltenango.

Archbishop-elect Gonzalo De Villa y Vásquez, S.J.

Archbishop-elect Gonzalo De Villa y Vásquez, S.J., was born on April 28, 1954, in Madrid, Spain. In 1974 he entered the novitiate of the Jesuits in the Dominican Republic. He studied philosophy in Mexico at the “Instituto Libre de Filosofia” and obtained a civil licentiate in “Humanidades”. He specialized in philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. He carried out his studies in theology at the “Instituto de Teologia para Religiosos” in Caracas, Venezuela. In Canada, he obtained a master’s degree in “Pensamiento Social y Politico” at the University of York in Toronto, and, subsequently, a diploma in Latin American studies.

He was ordained a priest in Panama on August 13, 1983. He gave his religious vows in the Society of Jesus on 6 February 1993.

As a priest, he held the following roles: professor of philosophy at the Universidad de Centro América in Managua, Nicaragua, and professor of religion in Saint Ignatius College in Caracas, Venezuela. In Guatemala, he was: professor of philosophy and political science at Rafael Landívar University, professor of philosophy in the National Major Seminary of Guatemala, vice-dean and dean of the Faculty of Political Science at Rafael Landívar University, delegate provincial superior of the Society of Jesus for Central America, parish priest of the Saint Anthony parish, Superior of various religious houses of the Society of Jesus in Guatemala and Rector of Rafael Landívar University.

On July 9, 2004, he was appointed titular bishop of Rotaria and auxiliary of the metropolitan archdiocese of Santiago de Guatemala, receiving episcopal ordination the following September 25. On July 28, 2007, he was transferred to the diocese of Sololá-Chimaltenango.

From October 2, 2010, to July 14, 2011, he was apostolic administrator of the metropolitan archdiocese of Los Altos Quetzaltenango-Totonicapán.

In 2017 he was elected president of the Episcopal Conference for a three-year term, and in 2020 he was reconfirmed in the same role for a further three years.

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