2nd Filipino bishop ordained in US to serve Los Angeles

2nd Filipino bishop ordained in US to serve Los Angeles

Catholic community welcomes Most Rev. Alejandro Aclan as second Filipino bishop in the United States. PHOTO FROM THE LA ARCHDIOCESE FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

May 27, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Filipino priest Alejandro Aclan was ordained auxiliary bishop to help shepherd the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the United States.

Archbishop Jose Gomez, together with Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Roger Mahony and Bishop Oscar Solis ordained Aclan to the episcopacy May 16 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Aclan’s ordination makes him the second Filipino American prelate after Bishop Solis of Salt Lake City.

In an indication of the diversity of the Catholic flock, the readings during Mass were read in Tagalog, Spanish and English.

With nearly five million Catholics, the archdiocese is also one of the most diverse, with people from about 70 different countries.

The Los Angeles area is home to the largest Filipino immigrants in the US and the biggest Asian American community in California.

In his homily, Gomez told Aclan that God has called him “in a time of renewal and reform in the Church”.

“It is a time, as we know, with shadows and uncertainty. But it is also a time of bright hope and new possibilities,” he said.

The archbishop also reminded Aclan that as a bishop, he needs to let Jesus be his only teacher.

“This time in the Church — this time of renewal — is a call for every one of us to return to Jesus. It is a call to continue the conversion of our hearts,” he added.

In his message, Bishop Aclan, 68, thanked Pope Francis for the trust and confidence in him.

“I would like to thank in a special way our Blessed Mother who has never left me unaided in all of my years since childhood,” a tearful Aclan said.

“And of course, I would like to thank in the most special way of all our God,” he added. “I would like to thank him for bringing me to this moment that is causing me so much joy to everyone I’ve come in contact with in my life and many others whom I have yet to meet.

Pope Francis on March 5 appointed Aclan as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles.

Born in Pasay City, Aclan moved to the US at the age of 31 where he soon after decided to enter the seminary.

In 1993, he was ordained to the priesthood, and served as parochial vicar, pastor, and Vicar for the Clergy in the LA archdiocese in the years after.

As he was ordained, the archdiocese announced that Aclan would serve as episcopal vicar for the San Fernando Pastoral Region.