First Filipino-American Bishop Ordained

( [email protected] ) Feb 11, 2004 03:19 PM EST

America’s first Filipino-American Roman Catholic bishop was ordained in Los Angeles, Feb. 10, 2004. Hundreds from the Filipino community, including the Philippines’ ambassador to the United States was present for the ordination at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Oscar A. Solis, 50, is now one of five auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – the largest in the nation with 5 million Catholics. The Archdiocese also boasts the greatest diversity with Sunday Masses held in 42 languages.

Cardinal Roger Mahony said in his homily he was excited to have Solis help lead the church during a "challenging time" in which "a lot of people in our society and our culture don't want to hear the Gospel."

"We're looking forward to having him help unite, harmonize and energize" the church, Mahony said.

Solis said he “humbly” accepted the challenges of serving the diverse Church.

"I consider my appointment more than just an opportunity to become a part of the local church of Los Angeles, but more as a distinct privilege to serve our archdiocese, which is alive and vibrant with multiethnic communities," he wrote in remarks prepared for his first address as bishop.

Others present for the ordination were fellow bishops from the Philippines and Louisiana and the governor of the province of Nueva Ecija where Solis was born in the city of San Jose.