July 18, 2023  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

The Holy Father Pope Francis today named Msgr. Albert Bahhuth, Ph.D., Father Matthew Elshoff, OFM. Cap., Father Brian Nunes, and Father Slawomir Szkredka, Ph.D., S.S.D., auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Archbishop José H. Gomez and the bishops-elect addressed the L.A. media on the Pope’s announcement at a press conference today, at 10 a.m., at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“Our new bishops reflect the beautiful diversity of the Catholic community in Los Angeles,” said Archbishop Gomez. “As many of you know, we are a Church of immigrants, with faithful men and women and families who come from every continent and many nations; and we carry out our ministries and charities here in more than forty different languages. And as I said, our new bishops reflect that diversity.”

“What these four priests have in common is their love for Jesus Christ and their love for their brothers and sisters. Each of them is a man of prayer who has a heart for the poor, and a deep desire to spread God’s love and to serve God’s people,” added the Archbishop. He closed his remarks thanking the Holy Father and the Apostolic Nuncio, Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre for “this great gift” of the four new auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Bishop-elect Bahhuth (66) was ordained to the priesthood in 1996. Prior to his discernment to the priesthood, he completed a bachelor’s degree and subsequent master and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering in the United States, and later went on to work in the retail and fast-food industries, owning a Subway franchise. After his ordination, Bishop-elect Bahhuth served as Associate Pastor at St. Gregory the Great (Whittier) and Holy Family (Glendale), and then as Pastor of St. Finbar (Burbank), St. Kateri Tekakwitha (Santa Clarita), and currently Holy Family (South Pasadena). He also served as Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese from 2015-2020.

“Words cannot express my gratitude to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this responsibility,” said Bishop-elect Bahhuth. “I am blessed to be called to be a Bishop during this transitional time in the life of the Church, where our Holy Father is calling us to a synodal approach to governing and caring for the People of God, to go out to the peripheries and bring home our brothers and sisters who are searching for the truth and for meaning and purpose to their lives. I am also grateful to Archbishop Gomez for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with him in shepherding the people of God in our wonderful Archdiocese.”

Bishop-elect Elshoff (67) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 for the Religious Order of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Berkeley and went on to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. After his ordination, he served at St. Francis High School (La Cañada Flintridge) from 1982-89. He was appointed associate director of novices at St. Lorenzo Seminary (Santa Inez) in 1989. After three years he returned to St. Francis High School where he served as President until 2008. He was provincial for the Western American Province of the Capuchin Order from 2008-2014, and then went on to work in northern Mexico with the Capuchin Friars before returning to California to serve as Pastor of Mission Santa Inés (Solvang) and currently at St. Lawrence of Brindisi (Los Angeles).

“I am very grateful to His Holiness Pope Francis for placing his confidence in me by appointing me an auxiliary bishop as well as to Archbishop Gomez for his part in accepting me as one of his auxiliaries,” said Bishop-elect Elshoff. “I am humbled to serve the priests, deacons, religious and people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”

As a member of the Order of Capuchin Franciscan Friars, Bishop-elect Elshoff took a moment in his remarks to thank his provincial, Fr. Joseph Seraphin, OFM Cap. who was in attendance, “I am very grateful to him and the friars of Our Lady of Angels Province who have fostered my love of the Lord through Francis of Assisi. I owe them a great debt of gratitude.”

Bishop-elect Nunes (58) was born in Inglewood, CA and was ordained to the priesthood in 2008. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, he pursued a career in print journalism, working at Business Wire for 12 years. After his ordination, he served at Mary Star of the Sea (San Pedro) and then at St. Gregory the Great (Whittier). He then went on to serve as Archbishop Gomez’s priest secretary prior to his assignments as Vice Chancellor and currently as Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese.

“I feel incredibly grateful to God first of all, and to Pope Francis, and in a special way to Archbishop Gomez, for his trust in letting me share and collaborate in his ministry,” said Bishop-elect Nunes. “I feel excited about being able to serve even more people, a larger segment of the Church, with this new role.” 

Born in Czechowice-Dziedzice, Poland, Bishop-elect Szkredka (49), was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2002. He served as associate pastor at St. Genevieve (Panorama City) and St. John the Baptist (Baldwin Park). He then pursued biblical studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome before returning to the Archdiocese where he has been serving as Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA.

“I am personally thankful to the Holy Father for calling me to this ministry,” said Bishop-elect Szkredka. “I am very much looking forward to working under the leadership of our shepherd, Archbishop José Gomez, and in collaboration with many lay and ordained ministers. I know Our Blessed Mother will teach us how to be good servants of the Lord.”

The Archdiocese’s new Auxiliary Bishops thanked the faithful who have supported their priestly ministries, each asking for their continued prayers as they begin their new roles as bishops for the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese’s new auxiliary bishops will be ordained on September 26 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, joining current Auxiliary Bishops Alex Aclan and Marc Trudeau. Details for the ordination will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information on the announcement, visit LACatholics.org/newbishops. A feature article on the newly named bishops can be found at angelusnews.com/local/la-catholics/four-new-auxiliary-bishops-LA.

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