Pope Francis has named Rev. Keith J. Chylinski, Rev. Christopher R. Cooke, and Rev. Efren V. Esmilla as new auxiliary bishops of Philadelphia.
Archbishop Nelson Pérez introduced the Bishops-elect at a morning news conference Dec. 8 at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Philadelphia.
Currently the Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Bishop-elect Chylinski, age 52, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 2007.
Bishop-elect Cooke, age 50, who serves as the Dean of Men at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 2006.
Bishop-elect Esmilla, age 61, who serves as the Pastor of Saint James Parish in Elkins Park and Saint Martin of Tours Parish in Philadelphia as well as the Chaplain to the Filipino Apostolate, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1993.
Bishops-elect Chylinski, Cooke, and Esmilla will be ordained March 7, 2024 in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
Archbishop Pérez described the Bishops-elect as “men of deep faith, great humility” who have “zealous hearts that are on fire to serve as Missionary Disciples for Jesus Christ.”
“I ask that all people in our local Church join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will strengthen our new bishops as successors to the Apostles. At the same time, let us join in expressing tremendous gratitude to Pope Francis for appointing three of our own priests to help build up and strengthen our Church far into the future,” the Archbishop added.
An auxiliary bishop assists the archbishop in the administration of the archdiocese. The bishops are also responsible for groups of parishes in their episcopal region and confer the Sacrament of Confirmation in archdiocesan parishes.
The Bishops-elect will succeed recently retired Auxiliary Bishops Edward M. Deliman and Michael J. Fitzgerald as well Bishop Timothy C. Senior, who had served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia from 2009 until the summer of 2023 when he was appointed the Bishop of Harrisburg. They will join Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre, who has served in that capacity since 2010.
During this time of transition, Bishops-elect Chylinski, Cooke, and Esmilla will continue in their current priestly assignments.
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