Bishop Gerald Wilkerson will serve as interim episcopal vicar for the San Fernando Pastoral Region, Archbishop José H. Gomez announced Sept. 8. 

The appointment comes as the region’s auxiliary bishop, Alex D. Aclan, remains under the care of doctors after suffering a stroke last month. 

The 82-year old bishop is no stranger to the job: He served as the region’s auxiliary bishop from 1998 until his retirement in 2015. 

He told Angelus his priority is “to be present to the priests and people of the region,” and help carry out Bishop Aclan’s pastoral vision while he recovers.

“I would like to continue that vision, to do his work, so that when he comes back he’ll be able to step right back without missing a beat,” said Bishop Wilkerson. 

Bishop Wilkerson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in the Long Beach area. He was ordained a priest in 1965 and served in a number of parishes around the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before being named a bishop by St. Pope John Paul in 1997. 

In 2018, he was briefly called out of retirement by Pope Francis to serve as apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Monterey until a new bishop was named in 2019. 

As episcopal vicar, Bishop Wilkerson will oversee the region’s administrative duties on a temporary basis. 

Two other of the archdiocese’s five pastoral regions are currently served by priests acting as episcopal vicars: Msgr. Terrance Fleming in the Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region; and Father Leon Hutton in the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.