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Update: Pope names Oratorian priest auxiliary bishop of Brownsville

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Update: Pope names Oratorian priest auxiliary bishop of Brownsville

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis
has named Father Mario Alberto Aviles, a pastor in Hidalgo, Texas, and procurator general of the Oratorians, to be an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.

Bishop-designate Aviles, 48, has
led the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri since 2012 and has been
pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Hidalgo since 2002.

His appointment as an auxiliary
bishop was announced in Washington Dec. 4 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre,
apostolic nuncio to the United States.

He is the first auxiliary bishop
to be named for the diocese in its 52-year history. Bishop-designate Aviles
will assist Brownsville Bishop Daniel E. Flores, who has headed the diocese
since February 2010.

Born in Mexico City Sept. 16, 1969, Bishop-designate Aviles entered the Oratorians there in 1986. Two years later, he transferred to the Oratory in Pharr, Texas, in the Diocese of
Brownsville.

The Congregation of the Oratory,
founded by St. Philip Neri in Rome in 1575, is a pontifical society of apostolic life of Catholic priests and brothers who live together in a
community bound together by no formal vows but only with the bond of charity.

He attended the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum (Queen of Apostles) in Rome, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1998.

He was ordained a priest July
21, 1998. He then earned a master of divinity degree from Holy Apostles
Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, in 2000. He also has a master’s degree in educational
leadership from the University of Phoenix.

After his ordination, he was named
parochial vicar of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Pharr, where he served from 1998 to 2002. In 2002, he became pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Hidalgo, where he is currently still pastor.

His other responsibilities have included
being deputy of the Confederation of the Oratory, 2000-2012; director of the
Oratory Academy and Oratory Athenaeum, 2005-2012; member of the Brownsville diocesan pastoral council, 2011-present; procurator general of the Confederation of the
Oratory of St. Philip Neri, 2012-present.

The Diocese of Brownsville is comprised of four counties in the Rio Grande Valley. It covers almost 4,300 square miles in the southernmost tip of Texas. Out of a total population of 1.35 million, almost 1.15 million people, or about 85 percent, are Catholic.

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