10 April 2008

Our new Auxiliary Bishop

A new Auxiliary Bishop has been named for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and the announcement was made today. The following is his biography as posted on the website of the archdiocese.

Rev. Oscar Cantú, STL was born December 5, 1966, in Houston, TX, the son of Ramiro and Maria de Jesus Cantú, natives of small towns near Monterey in Mexico. He is the fifth of eight children, five boys, and three girls. Father Cantú is a product of Houston’s Catholic Schools, attending Holy Name Catholic School and St. Thomas High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, Dallas, TX. He then received his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He continued the Pontifical Gregorian University, located in Rome Italy where he earned his S.T.L. in Dogmatic Theology. He currently is completing his work for a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology. Father Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston on May 21, 1994. He has spent his priestly career working in parishes throughout the Houston metropolitan area. His first assignment following his ordination was as parochial vicar at St. Christopher Parish in Houston. Since 2003, he has taught at University of St. Thomas in Houston. He also has taught at St. Thomas at St. Mary’s Seminary. Father Cantú is fluent in Spanish, Italian, and French.

Currently he is serving as Pastor at Houston’s Holy Name Parish, his childhood parish where, in the early 60’s, his parents became close friends with a young priest, Father Patrick Flores, who went on to become the Archbishop of San Antonio. Fr. Cantú’s father immigrated to the United States as a young man. He worked in Chicago where he leaned to be a machinist. Tired of the cold weather and the long distance from his native country, he moved his wife and two children to Houston. While Mr. Cantú only received a 6th grade education, his life of hard work taught him to place a high value on education. Seven of his eight children attended Catholic schools in Houston at a great financial sacrifice for the family, four of them went on to college, three of them have attained their master s degrees.

While still a seminarian, Father Cantu worked on a committee made up of diocesan leaders and chaired by Laredo’s Bishop James Tamayo. Its purpose was to develop, promulgate, and promote a plan for Hispanic ministry. Since his ordination, Father Cantú has participated in number of ministries and movements in Houston. He was involved in the Christian Family movement, a national network of parish/neighborhood small groups of Catholics and their families who come together to reinforce their Christian values and are encouraged to reach out to others. He conducted three retreats per year with the youth of the CFM movement in the Galveston‐Houston Archdiocese. Father Cantu worked with those preparing for marriage through the Engaged Encounter ministry. From 20004 to 2007 Father Cantú co-hosted an interfaith radio show in Houston called “Show of Faith.” His co-hosts included a Jewish rabbi and a protestant minister. The program discussed issues from the perspective of their individual faith traditions. Father Cantú has also been involved in The Metropolitan Organization (TMO). Its mission is to publicly address important social issues in the community such as fair housing, immigration, education and many others.

Father Cantú will be ordained a bishop in a ceremony in the Archdiocese of San Antonio on June 2, 2008.

We give thanks to God for this appointment, and we will keep Father Cantú very much in our prayers.

Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts, and didst charge them to feed thy flock; Give grace, we beseech thee, to all Bishops, the Pastors of thy Church, that they may diligently preach thy Word, and duly administer the godly Discipline thereof; and grant to the people, that they may obediently follow the same; that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.