UST alumnus is first Asian bishop of American diocese

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Photo grabbed from Catholic News Service

A THOMASIAN alumnus was appointed bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah by Pope Francis last Jan. 10, the first Asian and Philippine-born prelate to head a diocese in the United States.

Bishop Oscar Solis will be the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, which covers the State of Utah. He will replace Archbishop John Wester, who served for nine years in the diocese before being named archbishop of Santa Fe in New Mexico.

The 63-year-old prelate, the auxiliary bishop at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, finished his theological studies at the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties in 1978 with Latin honors.

He took up post-graduate studies in Oriental Religions and Cultures at the UST Graduate School from 1979 to 1980.

In 1979, Solis was ordained priest in Nueva Ecija. He served in various positions, such as seminary rector and vocation director, at the Diocese of Cabanatuan from 1980 to 1984.

Solis relocated to the US in 1992 and joined the Diocese of Houma–Thibodaux in Louisiana. In 2003, he became the first Filipino to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles. He served as director of the archdiocese’s ethnic ministry and Office of Justice and Peace.

Solis is the episcopal moderator of the Catholic Network of Volunteer Services and a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Solis will be installed on March 7 at the Cathedral of St. Madelein, Salt Lake City. With a report from Sigrid B. Garcia

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