Please join us as we celebrate with Bishop Monterroso!
A native of Guatemala, the Rt. Rev. Hector Monterroso served as bishop of Costa Rica for 14 years before becoming an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Texas, July 1, 2017.
“I learned a lot in Costa Rica,” said the lifelong Episcopalian and former engineer. “I learned to start new missions, I learned what God’s response means when we’re desperate, I learned to be patient and to wait for God’s answer, I learned to use everything that God has given me to serve in the best manner I can,” the Bishop said, adding, “at each transition in my life, I have learned that God will never let me down.”
Bishop Monterroso served as an acolyte as a child and was confirmed by Bishop Anselmo Carral (deceased), who previously served as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Texas. Bishop Monterroso earned a precision mechanics and industrial maintenance degree and worked for a rum company as the chief engineer while he attended seminary at night. He left the company to plant a new Episcopal community to the chagrin of his work colleagues and despite the offer of a bonus and raise in salary.
His father’s professional soccer career proved to be an opener for him in gathering people to a new worshipping community. “It was a difficult time for me because my training in the seminary did not include how to open new churches,” he said, but he inherited some of his father’s talent. He was an excellent soccer player. “People couldn’t believe that a priest could play soccer and I was invited to be a part of the city’s soccer team. I visited many small towns where the people came to learn that I was the priest
of the new church. Many young people came to the church to meet and to play on my soccer team. Eventually, we had our own soccer team sponsored by the Episcopal Church. It was good advertising,” he laughed.
In addition to his experience as a missionary, and as Bishop of Costa Rica, Bishop Monterroso also served as Secretary General of Province IX (1986-2000); as editor of the Revista Anglicanos for 16 years, a magazine that served the Hispanic diaspora in the Anglican Communion; and as Secretary General of the Anglican Church of the Central Region of America. During his tenure in Costa Rica, he secured its financial stability, increased the number of clergy from seven to 29, assured that most congregations were self-sustaining, and gained governmental recognition and support for many of the Diocese’s programs.
He was ordained as a deacon in 1986, a priest in 1987 in the Diocese of Guatemala and consecrated as the Bishop of Costa Rica on June 7, 2003. He and his wife, Sandra Cardona, have two grown children: María Beatriz, a medical doctor in Costa Rica, and Héctor Ramón, a civil engineer.
Bishop Monterroso’s addition to the diocesan staff will continue to strengthen the growth in both Hispanic congregations as well as new missional communities and church plants in the Diocese of Texas. He joins Diocesan Bishop Andy Doyle, and Bishops Suffragan Dena Harrison and Jeff Fisher to provide an episcopal presence in the Diocese’s more than 200 Episcopal faith communities: 154 congregations (three with second sites), 35 missional communities, 14 college ministries and numerous institutions.
Bishop Monterroso will visit 45 congregations during the year; primarily in the southern region of the Diocese of Texas; chair the board of St. Vincent’s House, a social service agency in Galveston; support growth of multicultural presence in all congregations and help to create a strategy for new ethnic church plants and missional communities. Additionally, Bishop Monterroso will work to identify vocational leaders within the Hispanic congregations.