Most Rev. Oscar Cantú, S.T.D., was born December 5, 1966, in Houston, TX, the son of Ramiro and Maria de Jesus Cantú, natives of small towns near Monterrey, Mexico. He is the fifth of eight children, five boys, and three girls. Bishop Cantú attended Holy Name Catholic School and Saint Thomas High School in Houston, and he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, TX. He received his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Saint Thomas also in Houston. He attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome Italy where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.), as well as his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) in Dogmatic Theology. Bishop Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston in 1994.
He spent his priestly career working in parishes throughout the Houston metropolitan area. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Saint Christopher Parish. He also taught at the University of Saint Thomas and at Saint Mary’s Seminary. He also served as pastor at Holy Name Parish, the parish of his own baptism.
Bishop Cantú also participated in a number of ministries and movements in Houston. He was involved in the Christian Family Movement; conducted retreats with the youth of the CFM movement in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston; and worked with the Engaged Encounter ministry. Bishop Cantú also worked with local community organizers that helped him address housing issues in his parish community.
Bishop Cantú was ordained a bishop June 2, 2008, by Archbishop Jose Gomez (then Archbishop of San Antonio), and was then appointed Titular Bishop of Dardano and Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio. In 2013, Bishop Cantú was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, NM, and was installed as bishop on February 28, 2013, by The Most Reverend Michael J. Sheehan, Metropolitan Archbishop of Santa Fe, in the presence of The Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganó, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America.
Bishop Cantu has served on several committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), such as the Committee on Catholic Education, the Doctrine Committee, the Sub-Committee on Hispanic Affairs, and the Committee on International Justice and Peace. He chaired the Committee on International Justice and Peace from 2015 to 2017. In that role he visited churches in some of the most troubled areas of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia to represent the U.S. bishops in showing solidarity with the local churches like those of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that are under great duress. He twice visited Iraq and Cuba. In the Middle East, he visited churches in Gaza, Jerusalem, Israel, and the West Bank, advocating on behalf of the two-state solution, the long-held position of the church. He spoke on behalf of the USCCB at the United Nations and in London in defense of the church’s teaching on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. He called for religious liberty in the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. He visited Japan in 2015 for the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. He was one of two delegates chosen by the bishops’ conference to represent the USCCB at Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico in February 2016.
Bishop Cantu was appointed by Pope Francis as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, on July 11, 2018.
Click here to read the Question and Answer interview Bishop Cantú had with editor Liz Sullivan.
Liturgies to Welcome
The Diocese of San Jose will welcome
Because of the size of the churches in which we will celebrate these liturgies,