Bishop Oscar Cantu leaving Diocese of Las Cruces for new role

Bishop Oscar Cantu is leaving Las Cruces for new role in California. (Courtesy: Las Cruces Diocese)

Bishop Oscar Cantú has been appointed as the coadjutor bishop of San Jose, California.

The Diocese of Las Cruces said Pope Francis made the announcement on Wednesday morning.

He was first appointed to the City of Crosses on Jan. 10, 2013.

Cantú will succeed Most Rev. Patrick McGrath, who has decided to retire.

“From my first days in the Diocese of Las Cruces, I have grown to love the people and their

faithfulness that is displayed throughout our communities,” Cantú said. “As I respond to

the Holy Father’s call to serve in a larger diocese, I ask for those within the Diocese of Las

Cruces to pray for me and to be assured that I will continue to keep them in my prayers.”

KFOX14 spoke with vice chancellor of the Las Cruces Diocese, Jim Winder, who said why many admire the bishop’s teachings.

“He’s certainly a leader regardless of what faith you are, and you know, in a time especially when border issues have been such a hot-button issue in the United States, I think he’s been a clear voice but also a voice of reason a voice of justice, together,” Winder said.

Others said Contú is the voice of the people.

“He works for the poor people, for helping the Catholic schools, so that’s what we need more and he’s a very hard worker,” Las Cruces resident Margarita Macias said.

Others said they’re happy for Cantu but will be sad to see him leave.

“I think is a huge honor for him, I think it’s a big loss for us because of the beliefs that he has and so I’m happy for him and I guess we’ll wait and see who we get, and hope he does well and I wish him the best of luck,” Las Cruces resident Patricia Martinez said.

His last day with the Diocese of Las Cruces will be Sept. 28.

Pope Francis will then decide who will become the next bishop of the Las Cruces Diocese.

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