Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg is the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo. The Bishop's office is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Diocese of Pueblo and for the spiritual well-being of Catholics in southern Colorado.
Bishops are successors of the apostles and, in their own dioceses, they are the chief teachers, sanctifiers and shepherds of God's people. The responsibilities of a bishop are:
A bishop is the principal teacher in his diocese and has a responsibility to preach the Word of God to his people. He must ensure that those delegated to teach in his name, namely priests, teachers, catechists and others, teach the truth.
This refers to meeting the needs of the local community (material, social, personal and spiritual) as well as ensuring that Church laws are observed.
He is ultimately responsible for training and supplying priests for parishes, for the finances of the diocese and for all church property.
A bishop has the power to make Church laws, be a judge in Church matters and to enforce observance of these laws. These laws generally relate to worship, preaching, administration of the sacraments, safeguarding the faith and morals of the faithful and religious instruction.
A bishop is responsible for ensuring that the sacraments are administered and has the special authority to ordain priests and to confirm.
What symbols are associated with the Bishop?
Crosier: The shepherd's staff used on ceremonial occasions. It symbolises being the shepherd of the people in the diocese.
Mitre: The triangular headgear, also worn by the Pope. There are three kinds depending on the liturgical season, and it is removed whenever the bishop is about to pray.
Pectoral Cross: The large ornamental cross worn as a necklace.
Ring: A ring worn on the third finger of the right hand. Some people kiss the bishop's hand as a sign of their love for him and the recognition that he is a living icon of Christ in the midst of the Church.
Zucchetto (Skull Cap): Bishops wear a purple zucchetto while cardinals wear red and the Pope wears white.
Coat of Arms: A bishop chooses symbols appropriate to himself and his diocese. The arms of the diocese may occupy the left side whilst his personal arms occupy the right.
Motto: In order to motivate the faithful and to set himself a specific direction, a new bishop will select a set of meaningful words, often written in the official language of the Catholic Church, Latin, on the bottom of the Coat of Arms.