Pope Francis has appointed auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Oscar Azarcon Solis, as the new bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah. The Holy See announced the Pope’s appointment this week.
This appointment marks the first Filipino-American Bishop to lead a diocese in the United States. Bishop Solis will be officially installed at the Salt Lake City’s Cathedral of the Madeleine on Tuesday, March 7.
Born Oct. 13, 1953 in San Jose, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, Oscar Azarcon Solis would go on to attend the Christ the King Seminary of the Society of the Divine Word, Tagaytag City, to study philosophy and the Pontifical Royal Seminary at the University of Saint Thomas in Manila for his theological studies.
In 1979, he would be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cabanatuan and, as prefect of Seminary Studies and as Diocesan Vocations Director, would serve as chaplain for a number of organizations. In 1984, he emigrated to the United States. In the following years, he would serve as a parochial vicar in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, and later was incardinated into the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, where he served four different parishes.
In 2004, he was named as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and was ordained on February 10, 2004, marking the first Filipino-American bishop ordained in the country. In 2009, he was named Episcopal Vicar for the San Pedro Region. Bishop Solis also has served on the subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The American diocese of Salt Lake City comprises an area of some 219,887 kilometers. According to recent statistics, out of a population of some 2,946,100, some 295,000 are Catholic. They are served by some 71 priests, 76 permanent deacons, and nearly 37 religious.
On the NET:
Official Website of Diocese of Salt Lake City: http://www.utahcatholicdiocese.org/