POPE FRANCIS NAMES AUXILIARY BISHOP OF LOS ANGELES OSCAR SOLIS AS BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF SALT LAKE CITY; BISHOP SOLIS TO BE FIRST FILIPINO-AMERICAN TO LEAD A U.S. DIOCESE
His Holiness, Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Oscar A. Solis as Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Vatican announced today. Bishop Solis was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles on December 11, 2003 by Pope John Paul II and ordained on February 10, 2004, becoming the first Filipino-American elevated to the episcopacy in the history of the United States. He will now be the first Filipino-American Bishop to lead a Diocese in the United States.
Bishop Solis will be introduced in Salt Lake City at a diocesan press conference Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 27 C Street, in the lower level Bishop Federal Hall, at 11:00 am CT/10 am PST. The press conference will be livestreamed at: www.ksl.com.
“It’s a beautiful thing to receive the appointment,” said Bishop Solis. “It’s a recognition of the diversity of the Church in America and the universality of the Church. I understand what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of a particular diocese. It is a tremendous blessing and a responsibility and a privilege to be of service to the local Church in the United States of America, coming from the Philippines.”
Bishop Solis is presently Auxiliary Bishop for the San Pedro Region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest Archdiocese in the United States with the largest Filipino Catholic population in the country. Prior to serving as a regional auxiliary bishop, Bishop Solis served as Vicar for Ethnic Ministry (2004-2009) and Director of the Office of Justice and Peace (2005-2009).
“I could not be happier for Bishop Solis! He is a fine priest and a good bishop and I am going to miss him,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez in a statement upon announcement of the appointment. “I have relied on his good advice and pastoral judgment, and I am inspired by his love and dedication to the people of the San Pedro Pastoral Region and the whole family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We are all going to miss him greatly.
“Our loss will be a gift to the family of God in Salt Lake City. I know that Bishop Solis will be for them a model of prayer and compassion and a great bishop. And I fully expect that he will become the leading voice for the millions of Filipino Catholics in this country, who are a beautiful sign of growth and renewal in our Church and in our country.”
“With the entire family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I am praying for our brothers and sisters in Salt Lake City as they rejoice in their new Bishop. We are praying also for Bishop Solis as he prepares for this new adventure in his ministry. I entrust him to the tender care of Our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady Queen of the Angels. May Our Lord Jesus Christ go with him and grant him wisdom and courage,” added the Archbishop.
In an interview for Angelus News, Bishop Solis said of the community of faith in Los Angeles, “I thank God and all the people who have been supportive of my vocation. All my brother bishops were wonderful mentors, and I owe them so much. They have been wonderful ministers to me. And I could not find a better fraternity of priests than the one here in L.A.”
“I will miss friends and priests and L.A., but I know God has something in store for us when he leads us to a new place. I have wonderful priests in Utah and wonderful people. I know we won’t go wrong if we work together as a Church, as a community. God will provide the rest.”
Born on October 13, 1953 in San Jose, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, Bishop Solis was ordained to the priesthood in his hometown in 1979. He served in various pastoral and educational ministries in the Philippines before coming to the United States in 1984. He served in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana from 1988-2003.
The official Installation of Bishop Solis as tenth bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City will take place in the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets will be required for the Installation. Solemn Vespers will be held in the Cathedral Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. A public reception will be held Tuesday evening, March 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown at City Creek, 75 South West Temple. For more information on the Diocese of Salt Lake City visit: www.dioslc.org.
Additional photos of Bishop Solis: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8-pIC3J7jUIcGpfZ2ZtMG10dFk?usp=sharing