Alumnus Cantu Named NM Bishop
The Most Rev. Oscar Cantú, STD, has been named bishop of Las Cruces, N.M., by Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Cantú, the 46-year-old auxiliary bishop of San Antonio, is the youngest head of a United States diocese. Bishop Cantu will lead 120,000 members in the Diocese of Las Cruces.
Bishop Cantú will replace the Most Rev. Ricardo Ramírez, CSB, D.D., who graduated from UST in 1959 and is the only Basilian bishop currently serving in the United States. In a statement on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces website
, Bishop Cantú said he is humbled that the Holy Father would appoint him to lead a beautiful diocese in New Mexico.
“There is a deep sense of being sent – sent as the apostles were by Christ – to announce the Good News of the Gospel,” Bishop Cantú said. “There is a call here to reconnect with the original mission of the Church to announce the Good news of Jesus Christ. I do not pretend to bring a new gospel or new message. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.”
Bishop Ramírez commented on how similar his is to Bishop Cantú.
“He and I share many things,” Bishop Ramírez said. “We are both natives of what is now the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and both of us were named auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of San Antonio previous to coming here. We are both alumni of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, run by my order, the Basilian Fathers. He was pastor of my family when he served at Holy Name Church in Houston.”
A University of St. Thomas alumnus, Bishop Cantú was named auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of San Antonio by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. Then, he was the youngest bishop in the United States at 41. He can speak four languages and taught at both University of St. Thomas and St. Mary's Seminary.
Bishop Cantú received his Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from the University of St. Thomas in 1994. After ordination, he went on to serve Houston for Holy Name Parish, St. Christopher Parish, St. Cecilia Parish and St. Frances Cabrini Parish.