EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Catholic Diocese of El Paso is about to make some history when it ordains Bishop-elect Anthony Cerdan Celino later this week.
This event, according to the diocese, marks the first time an auxiliary bishop has been named for the El Paso Diocese. It is also the first time a diocesan priest from El Paso will be ordained as a bishop and the first ordination of a bishop in the 109-year history of the Diocese of El Paso.
Celino will be ordained at 2 p.m. Friday, March 31 at St. Patrick Cathedral, 1118 N. Mesa, in Downtown El Paso. The event is open to the public.
El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz, along with San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller and Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop John Stowe, will oversee the ordination of Celino to the Episcopacy. Stowe had previously served for years in various roles with the Diocese of El Paso.
Bishops from around the country are expected to attend to celebrate this history-making event for the El Paso Diocese.
On Feb. 8, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had appointed an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of El Paso, making the 50-year-old priest the third Filipino descent bishop in the United States.
Born in the Philippines on April 29, 1972 to the late Mines (Cerdan) and Teodolo Celino, he is the youngest of seven children. Bishop-elect Celino attended Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary and Mary Help of Christians College Seminary in the Philippines where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1993.
He graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, in 1997 with a Master of Divinity and Bachelor of Sacred Theology degrees.
He received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in 2003.
Following his ordination to the priesthood on June 6, 1997, Celino was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Patrick Cathedral in El Paso.
Celino has served the Diocese of El Paso as a vicar general, moderator of the curia, and chancellor, given his time to numerous boards, mentored young priests, served several parishes, including Our Lady of Peace in Alpine and Santa Lucia, now St. John Paul II.
From December 2011 to July 2013 during the sede vacante (when the diocese had no bishop), he served as the delegate of the apostolic administrator.
He currently serves as judicial vicar and the pastor of St. Raphael Parish in El Paso.