Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, C.S.B.
Keynote Speaker at Arizona Rosary Celebration








Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, CSB
Bishop Emeritus
Diocese of Las Cruces, NM

The Most Reverend Ricardo Ramirez, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is the son of Natividad Espitia Ramírez and María Espinosa Ramírez. He was born on September 12, 1936 in Bay City, Texas and is the second of two sons. As a young boy he attended the Latin American School and Jefferson Davis Grammar School. He graduated from Bay City High School in 1955. As a young man, Ricardo Ramirez received a Bachelor's of Arts Degree from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, Texas, in 1959.

He responded to the Lord's calling to the priesthood and between 1963 and 1965, attending St. Basil's Seminary in Toronto, Canada and the Seminario Conciliar in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1966. The Reverend Ricardo Ramirez was ordained on December 10, 1966 in Houston, Texas as a member of the Congregation of St. Basil. As a priest, he continued his education and in 1968 received a Masters of Arts Degree from the University of Detroit, Michigan. Soon after, he was bestowed with the title of Doctor of Laws honoris causa, from Neumann College, Wichita, Kansas. In recognition of his other learned pursuits, he is also recognized as a Doctor of Divinity honoris causa, from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto, Canada; Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan; and Doctor of Law honoris causa, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York.

As a priest of the Order of St. Basil, he was posted to many communities, including: St. Mary's Church, Owen Sound, Canada (1967); University Students/Centro Cultural Aragón, Mexico City as Chaplain (1968-1970); Family Religious Education Project, Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico (1970-1976); and the Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio, Texas, where he served as Executive Vice President (1976-1981).

He was named Titular Bishop of Vatarba (Numidia, Algeria) and Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, Texas on October 27, 1981, by Pope John Paul II and was ordained to the Episcopacy on December 6, 1981, in San Antonio, Texas, by Archbishop Patricio F. Flores. On October 18, 1982, he became the first Bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. While Bishop, he was appointed to two terms as Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (2003-2007). The Most Reverend Ricardo Ramirez retired in 2013 and was named Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

In retirement, Bishop Ramirez continues to serve on many committees related to the pursuit of human rights and the plight of refugees from Latin America and other countries, including: as Episcopal Advisor to the Institute for Hispanic Liturgy, the USCCB, Committee on Migration and Refugee Services, as a member of the Committee on the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, and as a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Hispanic Affairs.

The Congregation of St. Basil, also known as the Basilian Fathers, is a vibrant community of priests, students for the priesthood, and lay associates. They are an apostolic community whose members profess simple vows. They seek the glory of God, especially in the works of education and evangelization. St. Basil the Great was a fourth century (330-379 CE) Greek bishop and doctor of the Church known as a tireless teacher, theologian, a champion of orthodoxy and particularly for his care of the poor and underprivileged. He was considered a father of communal monasticism who moderated some of the more severe practices in monastic life and helped establish a balance between work and prayer. St. Basil also believed in incorporating secular learning, particularly the "pagan classics," into a Christian education. Other patrons of the Basilians are: the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. John Bosco. More information on the Order of St. Basil can be found on the website