Pope appoints Filipino prelate as 1st auxiliary bishop of U.S. diocese

Pope Francis appointed Bishop-elect Anthony C. Celino, JCL, a native of Anda, Pangasinan, as the very first auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of El Paso in Texas, U.S.A. since its establishment in 1914.

The new Filipino immigrant prelate’s appointment was published by the Vatican on February 8 and is set to be officially proclaimed through an episcopal ordination at El Paso’s St. Patrick Cathedralon March 31.

Bishop-elect Celino becomes the third of Filipino decent elected as a bishop in the United States, following Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City and Bishop Alejandro Aclan of Los Angeles.

He will remain in his current position as Judicial Vicar of El Paso and Pastor of St. Raphel’s Parish until later in the Spring of this year.

El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for showing his attention and care to his diocese by appointing Bishop-elect Celino, who’s known for making “substantive contributions to the local church’s life.”

“He brings a unique experience as a Filipino immigrant serving our border community as a priest for the past twenty-five years, a steadfast dedication to pastoral ministry, and fidelity to the Gospel,” he said.

Bishop-elect Celino attended high school and college at Mary Help of Christians Seminary in Dagupan City in 1993 where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and graduated his master’s in Divinity and Sacred Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake /Mundelein Seminary in Illinois in 1997.

Upon his priestly ordination in 1997, he was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Patrick Cathedral and Our Lady of Peace in Alphine, and became pastor of St. John Paul II Parish, formerly Santa Lucia Parish.

He also served as the diocese’s vicar general, moderator curiae and chancellor, and appointed as delegate of the Apostolic Administrator to El Paso during sede vacante from December 2011 to July 2013. (Lem Leal Santiago/RCAM-AOC | Photo from CBCP News)



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