Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed Monsignor Anthony Celino, a Filipino immigrant, as auxiliary bishop of the US diocese of El Paso.
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 Vatican announced the appointment at 12 noon Rome time (7:00 p.m. in the Philippines).
Father Celino will be El Paso’s first auxiliary bishop since its establishment as a diocese in 1914.
“We thank the Holy Father for his attention and care for the Diocese of El Paso,” said the diocese’s Bishop Mark Seitz.
“He 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,” the prelate added.
Born in Anda, Pangasinan, Father Celino finished his studies in Philosophy at the Mary Help of Christians Seminary in Dagupan City in 1993.
After college seminary, he immigrated to the El Paso area. He pursued his theology studies at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois.
After his priestly ordination in 1997, Father 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.
In 2003, he obtained a licentiate in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington.
Father Celino has also served the Diocese of El Paso as a vicar general, moderator of the curia, and chancellor.
His episcopal ordination has been scheduled for March 31 at St. Patrick Cathedral.
Celino’s nomination makes the 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.