SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 10, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Los Angeles on Tuesday got a chance to meet the local media and a few members of his new Utah flock.
He also did a one-on-one interview with Bill Gephardt of Gephardt Daily.
While talking to reporters prior to the interview, Solis confessed that his move here, with all the responsibility it entails, came as a bit of a surprise.
“Lo and behold, I received a very surprising and shocking phone call informing me that Pope Francis asked me to become the bishop of Salt Lake City,” Solis told his listeners at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.
“And of course, it was such like a curve ball coming from nowhere, and I said, ‘Salt Lake City, your excellency — am I in trouble?'”
The crowd burst into laughter.
Solis said self-doubts continued to plague him until he had talked to spiritual leaders in his area and in Utah, whose warm, welcoming words helped convince him he was up to the move. Utah has approximately 300,000 Catholic Church members.
“So my first feeling is one of gratitude,” Solis told his listeners. “All my life I have been blessed by his (God’s) providence.”
Solis thanked his family and the priests, bishops and lay people who had helped guide him in his spiritual journey.
“I also would like to thank our holy father, Pope Francis, what a great pope of many surprises,” Solis said. “Plucking a lowly Filipino American bishop in L.A., an auxiliary bishop, and elevating (him) in a very sacred position of responsibility, of Bishop to the Diocese of Salt Lake City ”
Solis, 63, said prior to getting the news, he had made peace in his heart with spending his remaining days in Los Angeles, where he had served for 13 years.
But, “the clouds of heaven were made open, and a voice came out and said, ‘You fool, you fool,” Solis said, sparking more laughter. “Men proposes and God disposes. I had my plan, but God had a different plan.”
Solis went on to praise the good works of the Diocese of Salt Lake City and to express his excitement about his new assignment.
Solis is a native of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Prior to Los Angeles, he served in the Archdiocese of Manila and the Diocese of Cabanatuan, both in the Philippines.