Vatican City, Jul 11, 2018 / 04:57 am
The Vatican announced Wednesday Pope Francis' appointment of Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico to be coadjutor bishop of San Jose, California.
As coadjutor, Cantú will assist Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, 73, in the administration of the Diocese of San Jose, and succeed McGrath upon his retirement or death.
Cantú, 51, has served as bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico since February 2013. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, and French.
In 2016, the bishop was one of two delegates chosen to represent the U.S. bishops’ conference during Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico. After the pope’s visit, the bishop told CNA it showed Mexico “that the Holy Father cares about you, and that God is with us even in difficult moments, even in the darkness of life.”
Cantú has served as chairman of the United States bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace and is a member of the subcommittees on the Church in Latin America and Hispanic Affairs.
Born in Houston Dec. 5, 1966, he is the fifth of eight children. His parents, Ramiro and Maria de Jesus Cantú, are from small towns near Monterey, Mexico.
“There’s no dichotomy in being a Mexican-American. We love both countries because we have part of ourselves in both countries,” Bishop Cantú told CNA in a February 2016 interview
Houston Catholic schools were vital to the bishop’s formation and the formation of six of his siblings. Although Bishop Cantú’s father only received schooling up to 6th grade, he taught the value of education to his children, four of whom graduated college and three of whom have earned master’s degrees.