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Sacramento Bishop Inspires

Scholastic Kid Reporter discovers a great community leader in her local Bishop

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Bishop Garcia and Scholastic Kid Reporter Gabriella Castaneda.
Bishop Garcia of Sacramento, California, talks to Scholastic Kid Reporter Gabriella Castaneda. (Photo: Gabriella Castaneda)

By Gabriella Castaneda

Every community has its leaders. I wanted to know, what makes a good leader? I decided to talk to a leader in my community to find out.

I discovered that a good leader has a commitment to others and an important role in the community. They also have a strong sense of commitment to their heritage and background.

In my city of Sacramento, California, we have a Hispanic leader who meets and exceeds the qualities of a great leader. That leader is Bishop Richard J. Garcia.

Bishop Garcia is a very important person, not only in my community but also among Catholic organizations around the nation. He gave the first bilingual key note address at a major conference in Denver, Colorado. He is quoted often in regional newspapers about important issues.

He was the Bishop who performed my first communion and confirmation when I was in second grade. He does hundreds of first communions, baptisms, and confirmation every year.

Bishop Garcia is very proud of his culture. He was born in San Francisco on April 24, 1947 to Anita Marie Adame Garcia and John Manuel Garcia.

His parents were both born in Mexico. His grandparents have lived with him since he was little. He says they taught him how to pray.

"I get most of my culture and background from my grandparents," he told me.

Bishop Garcia encourages young people to be involved in helping others, especially now that we have an opportunity to help the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Kids of all backgrounds should learn about their culture, Bishop Garcia says. "Listen to the stories of your grandparents and parents or any one who is around to keep the stories going," he said.

Pope Paul II made Bishop Garcia an Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento in 1997. He has been a big influence in my life as well as others, both young and old.

The people who work in his office really look up to him.

"He is always praying for others; he always keeps his promises; he is a joy to work for," said Kim from the Bishop's office.

Those qualities and many more make Bishop Garcia a great leader of our community. As Mohandas Ghandi, modern India's greatest spiritual and political leader, said, "A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people."



Why is it important to know about the different cultures that make up America?

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