Bishop Jon Bruno, head of the Echo Park-based Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia. The former police officer and professional football player who arrived in Echo Park during the mid 1980s as rector of St. Athanasius church announced late last week that he will undergo treatment for acute monocytic leukemia. The 66-year-old Bruno said in a statement:
I don’t do anything lightly, and I am never surprised that when God calls me, it is to do more than I asked or thought. The doctors are of a mind that we can beat this, but I want to be honest with you: I am frightened … I want you folks to be as positive as you can be, and I need your prayers and support at this time.”
After arriving at St. Athanasius, now part of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul across from Echo Park Lake, Bruno emerged as a leader in social justice issues and became bishop in 2002. Bruno said he will continue to serve as bishop unless his health worsens. ” I will do what is needed to accomplish the election of the next Diocesan Bishop,” he said.