Pope Benedict appointed Texas priest Jose Auturo Cepeda as an auxiliary bishop of Detroit. At the age of 41, he will become the youngest bishop in the U.S.
Bishop-elect Cepeda currently serves as the rector of Assumption Seminary in San Antonio and is the third in a recent round of newly appointed auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Upon news of his appointment on April 18, the bishop-elect – who has never visited the city outside of its airport – expressed excitement over his upcoming move.
“I will learn much from the Church of Detroit,” he said on Monday. “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.”
Bishop-elect Cepeda will join Bishop-elects Monsignor Donald Hanchon and Michael Byrnes in being ordained bishops on May 5 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron welcomed the appointment and said that the new bishop-elect “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.”
“He is a true son of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Archbishop Vigneron added. “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.”
Archbishop Jose Gomez, the former head of the San Antonio archdiocese who is now leading the Church in Los Angeles, told CNA, “The appointment of Fr. Cepeda gives me great joy.” [Source]
I am not automatically filled with confidence when I see “youngest bishop” assigned. Detroit previously had a “youngest bishop” assigned – his name was Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Gumbleton because of his heterodoxy never became more than an auxiliary bishop luckily. Then there were some other great young bishops like Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Clark of Rochester whose age allowed them to damage a diocese for multiple decades. Though in this case there is a great difference. That era was stamped by the late Papal Nuncio Jean Jardot who put his mark on the selection of bishops in the United States. No doubt Fr. Jose Auturo Cepeda will add to the list of excellent Benedict Bishops.