Vatican City, Dec 4, 2017 / 05:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday the Vatican announced Pope Francis' appointment of Oratorian Fr. Mario Alberto Aviles as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville.
He joins Bishop Daniel E. Flores, who has served as the sixth bishop of Brownsville since February 2010.
Aviles, who has served as Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri since 2012, has also been appointed the titular bishop of the See of Cataquas in modern-day Algeria.
The Oratory of St. Philip Neri is a pontifical society of apostolic life made up of Catholic priests and lay-brothers. There are 86 congregations around the world, including several in the United States.
The Procurator General acts as the representative of the congregations to the Holy See, usually residing in Rome.
Aviles, 48, was born in Mexico City on Sept. 16, 1969. In 1986 he entered the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Mexico City, two years later moving to the Pharr Oratory in the Diocese of Brownsville.
He first attended the Catholic Panamerican University in Mexico City, then transferred to Rome to study philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum University.
He received a master's of divinity at the Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn. in 2000. He also has a master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
On July 21, 1998 he was ordained a priest for the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.
From his ordination he was Parochial Vicar of the parish of St. Jude Thaddeus in Pharr, Texas until 2002, he then served as parish priest of Sacred Heart parish in Hidalgo.
He was Dean of the Oratory Academy and Oratory Athenaeum in Pharr from 2005-2012 and a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council at Brownsville since 2011.
He has been Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri since 2012 and speaks Spanish, English and Italian.
The Diocese of Brownsville, formed in 1965, encompasses the counties of Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr at the southern border of Texas. Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr also border the Rio Grande River, which divides the Diocese of Brownsville from the dioceses of Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.
The diocese is 4,226 square miles in area with a population of approximately 978,369 inhabitants, of which 831,613 are Catholic.
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I guess no American priests were available for an American diocese leadership position.
Felicidades, el Padre Mario buen sacerdote y buen pastor en nuestra parroquia, ahora con la ayuda del Espiritu Santo y la Misericordia de Dios, sabemos que sera un buen Pastor de su rebano en la Diocesis apoyando al Bishop Flores.