CLUE-LA is proud to honor Bishop Gabino Zavala as one of our 2011 Giants of Justice. Bishop Zavala, a native of Mexico, was raised in Los Angeles, California. Following secondary school, Bishop attended and completed the course of studies both at St. John’s Seminary College and Theologate. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1977. In 1985, Bishop Zavala finished his studies for a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America. In 1994 he was named and consecrated Auxiliary Bishop for Los Angeles, currently serving as the Regional Bishop in the San Gabriel Pastoral Region.
Bishop Zavala has served the Archdiocese in a variety of capacities. He has been a parish priest, Associate director in the Metropolitan Tribunal, faculty member at St. John’s Seminary; Professor of Canon Law at the Seminary and served as the Dean of Students, and Vice Rector before being named Rector of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California.
Bishop Zavala is quite active in the national Church, our local Church and in the City of Los Angeles. He is on the boards of The House of Ruth, Death Penalty Focus and Don Bosco Technical High School. Bishop Zavala is to be found at rallies and is involved in a number of social justice initiatives that support the rights of immigrants, workers and the incarcerated, their victims and family members. In 2004 he received the Death Penalty Focus Abolition Award for his commitment to end capital punishment. He serves on the Archdiocesan Advisory Board for Restorative Justice and San Gabriel Mission High School. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Canon Law at Loyola Marymount University. He is also on the Board for Interfaith Worker Justice. In 2003 he was named Bishop President of Pax Christi USA.
As the Episcopal liaison to Restorative Justice Committee for the California Catholic Conference, he has played an active role in promoting the involvement of the Church in providing pastoral care for prisoners, support for their families and assistance to victims.
Bishop Zavala is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served on several committees of the USCCB, such as Migration, Vocations, Women in Society in the Church, Priestly Formation, Evangelization, Canonical Affairs, Hispanic Affairs, Education, and the Bishop’s Editorial Oversight Board for the National Catechism, and is presently Consultant to the USCCB Office of Hispanic Affairs. He is presently Chair of the Communications Committee and a member of the following committees: Administrative, Special Assembly and Ad Hoc Committee on Spanish Translation of the Bible for the Americas.
Bishop Zavala was the chair of the committee that developed and organized Encuentro 2000 in Los Angeles. He has given numerous lectures, conducts retreats and workshops both locally and nationally, and has written articles for publication.