FRANK DISCUSSION Pope Francis raises his hands during an airborne news conference aboard the papal plane en route to Rome at the end of his pastoral visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. AP PHOTO

Pope names 3rd Filipino bishop in US

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Anthony Celino, a Filipino immigrant, as auxiliary bishop of the diocese of El Paso in Texas.

Celino is currently the pastor of St. Raphael Parish on the eastside of El Paso in Texas and the diocese’s judicial vicar. He will replace Bishop Mark Seitz.

Celino will be El Paso’s first auxiliary bishop since its establishment as a diocese in 1914. The episcopal ordination for Celino will be on March 31, 2023 at St. Patrick Cathedral in El Paso.

“We thank the Holy Father for his attention and care for the Diocese of El Paso,” said Seitz in a statement. “He [Celino] brings a unique experience as a Filipino immigrant serving our border community as a priest for the past 25 years, a steadfast dedication to pastoral ministry, and fidelity to the Gospel.”

Born in the Ilocos region, Celino finished his studies in Philosophy at the Mary Help of Christians Seminary in Dagupan City in 1993. He later immigrated to the US and pursued his theology studies at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois.

After his 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 in Texas. He also served as the pastor of the former Santa Lucia Parish which is now St. John Paul 2nd Parish.

In 2003, he obtained a licentiate in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Celino is the third Filipino-American priest to be named bishop in the US. The two others are Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City and Auxiliary Bishop Alejandro Aclan of Los Angeles City.

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