The first Filipino-American bishop ordained in the United States has been installed as the leader of Salt Lake City’s Catholic diocese, ending the city’s longest period without a bishop.
Bishop Oscar Azarcon Solis replaces John C Wester, who was appointed
archbishop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2015, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Solis, who can move seamlessly from English to Spanish to Tagalog, was
born in San Jose City in the Philippines and was ordained a priest in
Solis, 63, previously served in New Jersey and Louisiana before
becoming an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles.
Because he served in an
Italian/Cuban parish in New Jersey, a French/Creole parish in Louisiana,
and the polyglot parishes of Southern California, people often ask what
kind of accent he has.
To that, Solis quips, “I can’t even understand myself now.”
The Rev. Alex Aclan, vicar for clergy at the Archdiocese of Los
Angeles, said Solis was key in establishing the National Association of
Solis is a “major ingredient in the glue that has bonded the Filipino priests together,” Aclan said.
The Los Angeles bishops gifted Solis a parka, skis and an Apple watch ahead of his move to Utah.
In his most recent position, Solis visited some 200 churches. People who know Solis say he is caring and even-tempered.
When worshippers showed up at the office looking for help or someone
to talk to, Solis “would take the time to listen to them … (and) give
them food from his pantry and give them money,” said Angelic Nunez, his
Solis’s installation took place at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.