February 15, 2023
The Vatican announced on February 8, 2023 that Pope Francis has named Father Tony Celino, JCL as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of El Paso.
Bishop-elect Celino, 50, the current pastor of St. Raphael Parish, Judicial Vicar, and Director of the Diocesan Tribunal Office, has served in various roles in the Diocese over the years including Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia, and Chancellor.
Ordained on June 9, 1997, the Philippine-born priest attended Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary in Binmaley, Philippines, and Mary Help of Christians College Seminary in Dagupan City, Philippines and immigrated directly to the El Paso area from the Philippines in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, in Mundelein, Illinois, and a Licentiate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Bishop-elect Celino has served several parishes throughout the Diocese of El Paso including St. Patrick Cathedral, Our Lady of Peace in Alpine, Texas, the former Santa Lucia Parish, now St. John Paul II Parish., St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish and St. Raphael Parish. Father Celino is a beloved priest and is known for maintaining a vibrant parish community; focused on family, youth, and spiritual growth. He speaks English, Spanish, and Tagalog.
"We thank the Holy Father for his attention and care for the Diocese of El Paso," Bishop Mark Seitz said. "Bishop-elect Celino's qualities are known in the diocese. He has made substantive contributions to the local church's life. He brings a unique experience as a Filipino immigrant serving our border community as a priest for the past twenty-five years, a steadfast dedication to pastoral ministry, and fidelity to the Gospel."
Celino’s appointment represents the first-ever diocesan priest to be ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of El Paso and the third person of Filipino descent elected as a Bishop in the United States. His episcopal ordination will take place at St. Patrick Cathedral on March 31.