Mexican born priest becomes youngest bishop

Pope Benedict has named Father Jose Arturo Cepeda, 41, of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

He will join Bishop-designates Monsignor Donald Hanchon and Father Michael Byrnes in being ordained bishops on May 5 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, the Archdiocese of Detroit has announced.

He will also be the youngest bishop in the US, the Detroit Free Press adds.

Bishop-designate Cepeda, 41, currently serves as rector of Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. Upon his ordination, he will become the youngest bishop in the United States. He will be the 28th auxiliary bishop for the Detroit archdiocese.

“Bishop Cepeda comes to us with an apostolic mission to use all of his many gifts and talents for the service of the whole People of God in Southeast Michigan – with particular attention to that portion of our family which is Hispanic,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “He is a true son of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I know she will help him to share his gifts with us, so that all of us – from so many diverse cultures – will share our gifts of grace with one another.”

Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, he came to the United States with his family at the age of 19, while already pursuing a life in the priesthood. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1996, at his home parish of St. Mary Magdalen in San Antonio. He was associate pastor of San Antonio’s San Fernando Cathedral for four years, then attended St. Thomas Aquinas “Angelicum” Pontifical University in Rome, where he earned a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology.

Since returning to San Antonio, he has been the archdiocese’s vocations director, and has taught and aided formation at Assumption Seminary, Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, and St. Peter Upon the Water center for spiritual direction in San Antonio. He was made vice-rector of Assumption Seminary in 2009, and was made rector of the seminary in 2010. His ministry has also included hosting a bi-lingual talk show on Catholic Television of San Antonio, and giving numerous talks and retreats.

“I am excited about coming to Detroit,” said Bishop-designate Cepeda, who had not visited the city outside of its airport prior to his appointment. “God is the One who does all the work and gives us all the grace we need. All we need to do is say ‘yes,’ just like Mary. That’s my attitude. I will learn much from the Church of Detroit.”

In the Detroit archdiocese, Bishop-designates Cepeda, Hanchon and Byrnes will join Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss and retired Auxiliary Bishops Moses Anderson, SSE, and Thomas Gumbleton.

Bishop-designate Cepeda will become the second priest from Texas appointed to serve in the Detroit archdiocese. Bishop Daniel Flores came from the Diocese of Corpus Christi and served as an auxiliary for just over three years before being installed as the bishop of Brownsville, Texas, in February 2010.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, April 18, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.


Abp. Vigneron to Introduce Bishop-designate Cepeda (Archdiocese of Detroit)

Pope Names San Antonio Seminary Rector as Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit (USCCB)

Abp. Vigneron Press Conference Remarks: Cepeda Appointed Bishop – April 18, 2011 (Archdiocese of Detroit)

Detroit to ordain youngest Catholic bishop in the U.S. (Detroit Free Press)