Bishop Carlos Sevilla, whose parents immigrated to San Francisco from Colima, Mexico, near Guadalajara, is the only SI grad to be named a bishop. (Msgr. Eugene Fahy ’29, who died in 1996, was granted many of the powers of a bishop in 1951 for his missionary work in China, though he was never granted the title of bishop given the Church structures there at the time.) He entered the Society of Jesus after graduating from SI and was ordained a priest in 1966. His appointment came Dec. 6, 1988 as auxiliary bishop of San Francisco, and on Dec. 31, 1996, Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of Yakima in Washington State.
Bishop Sevilla is one of 12 bishops who has signed “The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good,” published February 2001. The half million residents of the Diocese of Yakima, including 4,000 members of the Yakima Tribe, have much at stake over the fate of the Columbia watershed, as their land fronts more of that river than any other diocese in Oregon or Washington.
Bishop Sevilla and the 11 other co-signatories hoped to offer an opportunity for reflection rather than a call to specific action, and he called for a future where “we hope to see the best of the watershed of the past: living waters of God’s creation flowing from meadows and mountains to the ocean while providing for the needs of God’s creatures along the way. We ask all people of good will to imagine what they would like the watershed to be like in ten, fifty or one hundred years, and to work conscientiously to make that image a reality.”
In his time as bishop in San Francisco and Washington State, Bishop Sevilla has played a prominent role on several committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (formerly called the National Conference of Catholic Bishops). He has served as consultant for the NCCB Committee on Hispanic Affairs, a member of the NCCB Committee on Marriage and Family Life, chairman of the NCCB Committee on Religious Life and Ministry, a member of the NCCB Committee on Social Development and world Peace Domestic Policy, a member of the USCC Catholic Campaign for Human Development, chairman of the Bishop’s Subcommittee for Translation of Liturgical Texts Into Spanish, co-chairman of the West Coast Dialogue of Catholics and Muslims and a member of the USCCB Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.