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Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishops of Philadelphia

Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Keith J. Chylinski, Rev. Christopher R. Cooke, and Rev. Efren V. Esmilla, as auxiliary bishops of Philadelphia.
 
December 8, 2023
 
Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishops of Philadelphia
 
WASHINGTON – Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Keith J. Chylinski, Rev. Christopher R. Cooke, and Rev. Efren V. Esmilla, as auxiliary bishops of Philadelphia. Bishop-elect Chylinski is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and currently rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Bishop-elect Cooke is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and currently dean of men for the theology seminary at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Bishop-elect Esmilla is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, currently serving pastor of Saint James the Great parish in Elkins Park, and Saint Martin of Tours in Philadelphia. The appointments were publicized in Washington, D.C. on December 8, 2023, by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
The following biographical information for the three bishops-elect were drawn from preliminary materials provided to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
 
Bishop-elect Keith J. Chylinski
Father Chylinski was born July 23, 1971, in Schenectady, New York. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2000. He received master’s degrees from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and earned a master’s degree from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia (now Divine Mercy University in Sterling, Virgina) in 2014. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 2007.

Bishop-elect Chylinski’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Saint Anselm parish in Philadelphia (2007-2011) and Mary, Mother of the Redeemer parish in North Wales (2011-2012); student priest at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia (2012-2014); weekend ministry at Saint Joseph parish in Downingtown (2014-2017); member of the seminary’s faculty and the director of counseling services at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (2014-2022). Other assignments include serving as a member of the archdiocesan council of priests (2009-2011), spiritual director of the Padre Pio Prayer Group in Collegeville (2018-2021), and as a member of the archdiocesan commission on racial healing (2021-2023). He has been a member of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association since 2013 and served as their national chaplain from 2018 to 2022. He has served as rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary since 2022.
 
Bishop-elect Christopher R. Cooke
Father Cooke was born November 8, 1973, in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware in 1996. He began his priestly formation at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and earned master’s degrees in 2005 and 2006. Father Cook was ordained to the priesthood on May 20, 2006.

Bishop-elect Cooke’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Saint Eleanor parish in Collegeville (2006-2008), Saint Martin of Tours parish in Philadelphia (2008-2012); parochial administrator at Saint Francis of Assisi parish in Norristown (2012-2013); and director of the spiritual year at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (2013-2021). He has served on the archdiocesan council of priests (2009-2011; and present). Since 2021, he has served as dean of men for the theology seminary at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. Bishop-elect Cooke speaks English and Spanish.
 
Bishop-elect Efren V. Esmilla
Father Esmilla was born June 18, 1962, in Nagcarlan, Laguna in the Philippines. He has a bachelor’s degree from San Beda College in San Miguel, Manila, Philippines (1984) and a master of divinity from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (1992). Father Esmilla was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1993.

Bishop-elect Esmilla’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Saint John Chrysostom parish in Wallingford (1993-2001), Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Philadelphia (2001-2003), Saint Martha parish in Philadelphia (2005-2006); pastor of Our Lady of Hope parish in Philadelphia (2006-2020); assistant director for pastoral formation (2003-2004) and director of the spirituality year (2004-2005) at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. Other diocesan assignments include serving as chaplain for the Filipino diocesan apostolate (2005 to present); spiritual director of the Legion of Mary (2001 to present); and membership in the archdiocesan continuing formation committee for priests (2001-2004, and 2005-2008), council of priests (2005-2008, and 2017-2020), college of consultors (2006-2011), priest personnel board (2017-2022), and president of the presbyteral council (2021). Since 2020, he has served as pastor of Saint Martin of Tours parish in Philadelphia, while also serving since 2021 as pastor of Saint James parish in Elkins Park. Bishop-elect Esmilla speaks English, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Latin, and Portuguese.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is comprised of 2,202 square miles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has a total population of 4,195,425 of which 1,546,350 are Catholic.

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