Pope Francis appoints 3rd Filipino bishop in US diocese

PRAY (Unsplash)

Pope Francis appointed Filipino prelate Monsignor Anthony Celino as auxiliary bishop of the U.S. diocese of El Paso in Texas.

The announcement of Celino's appointment was announced by the Vatican on Wednesday, Feb. 8, the news arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reported.

"The bishop-elect is currently the pastor of St. Raphael Parish on the east side of El Paso in Texas and the diocese’s judicial vicar," the CBCP News said.

"Celino will be El Paso’s first auxiliary bishop since its establishment as a diocese in 1914," it added.

Celino was born in Anda, Pangasinan, and finished his studies in Philosophy in 1993 at the Mary Help of Christians Seminary in Dagupan City, the CBCP said.

He immigrated to the El Paso area after his college seminary and then "pursued his theology studies at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois," the CBCP said.

"After his priestly ordination in 1997, Celino was assigned as Parochial Vicar at St. Patrick Cathedral in El Paso and then at Our Lady of Peace in Alpine, Texas. He also served as the Pastor of the former Santa Lucia Parish, now St. John Paul II Parish," the CBCP said.

The CBCP said that the prelate "has also served the Diocese of El Paso as a vicar general, moderator of the curia, and chancellor."

He obtained "a licentiate in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington" in 2003.

Prior to Celino's appointment, the two other Filipino bishops in the US are Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City and Auxiliary Bishop Alejandro Aclan of Los Angeles, the CBCP said.