Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Pope Francis names four new auxiliary bishops of Los Angeles

Fr. Brian Nunes (left), Fr. Matthew Elshoff, Fr. Slawomir Szkredka, and Monsignor Albert Bahhuth (right) have been named auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed four new auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest archdiocese in the United States.

The Vatican announced on July 18 that Monsignor Albert Bahhuth, Father Matthew Elshoff, Father Brian Nunes, and Father Slawomir Szkredka will be consecrated as bishops to assist Archbishop José Gomez in leading the more than 4.3 million Catholics in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

“This is a day of joy for the family of God in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We give thanks to God, and we thank the Holy Father for this great blessing of new bishops,” Gomez said immediately following the announcement.

“Each is a man of prayer who loves Jesus and has a deep desire to share God’s love and to serve God’s people. We are praying for them, and we entrust them to the tender care of Holy Mary, our Blessed Mother.”

The four new bishops will join Auxiliary Bishops Marc V. Trudeau​, 66, and Alejandro D. Aclan, 72, bringing the total number of auxiliaries for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles up to six.

Earlier this year, Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell was murdered in his home in Hacienda Heights.

Monsignor Albert Bahhuth

Bahhuth, 66, is the pastor of Holy Family Parish in Pasadena. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on Oct. 6, 1956, as the youngest of seven children and was baptized in the Greek Catholic Church.

Due to the civil war in Lebanon, he came to the U.S. as a college student to continue his engineering studies, earning a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Mississippi in 1983.

Bahhuth purchased and operated two Subway sandwich franchises in Los Angeles and was an active member of St. John Vianney Parish in Hacienda Heights before discerning his vocation. He entered St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 at the age of 39.

He previously served as vicar general of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 2015 to 2020 and speaks English, Arabic, and Spanish.

Father Matthew Elshoff, OFM Cap

Elshoff, 67, is a Capuchin Franciscan friar who is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Originally from Cincinnati, he studied at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California, before making his perpetual profession as a Capuchin in 1979 at the age of 23. He was ordained a priest in 1982.

The Franciscan friar holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the California Family Study Center and received his license in marriage and family therapy in 1990. He spent time as a high school campus minister, vocations director, and novice master before becoming the provincial minister at St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Burlingame in 2008. He is currently the pastor of St. Lawrence of Brindisi Church in Los Angeles.

Father Slawomir Szkredka

Szkredka, 49, is a professor of biblical studies at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo. He was born in Czechowice, Poland, in 1974 and attended St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, before being ordained to the priesthood at the age of 27 in 2002.

From 2008 to 2015, Szkredka studied in Rome, where he received a doctorate in sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 2016. He has published academic articles in “Pastoral Psychology,” “The Catholic Biblical Quarterly,” “Verbum Vitae,” and other biblical journals and speaks English, Polish, and Spanish.

Father Brian Nunes

Nunes, 58, is the current vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where he has served as an administrator since 2014.

A native of Los Angeles, Nunes studied communications at Loyola Marymount University and worked as a journalist at Business Wire for nearly 12 years before he entered seminary. He was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in 2008 at the age of 43.

Nunes served as the priest secretary for Archbishop Gomez from 2015 to 2019 and as the vice chancellor of the archdiocese from 2018 to 2020. He speaks English, Tagalog, and Spanish.