St. James Bingo Fundraiser - Sunday August 27th
2023 Advent and Christmas Season Schedules

Rev. Efren Esmilla is Named Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

Fr Efren

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

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.

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 2021, he has served as pastor of Saint Martin of Tours parish in Philadelphia, while also serving since 2020 as pastor of Saint James parish in Elkins Park. Bishop-elect Esmilla speaks English, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Latin, and Portuguese.


Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez announced the following upon the announcement: 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I’m overjoyed to share on this Solemenity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary that Pope Francis has named Reverend Keith J. Chylinksi, Reverend Christopher R. Cooke, and Reverend Efren V. Esmilla as Auxiliary Bishops to serve the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and her people!

I invite you to join us here on my facebook page and via for a news conference this morning, at 10:45 a.m. (EST).
I also invite you to join me and the Auxiliary Bishops-elect in-person or virtually for at 12:05 p.m. (EST) for Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia . The Mass will be livestreamed here on my Facebook page and via

I ask that the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the Church of Philadelphia join me in extending hearty congratulations and prayerful best wishes to our new Auxiliary Bishops as they prepare to serve in this role! May God bless them abundantly as successors to the Apostles!
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Bishop-Elect Efren Esmilla will be ordained on Thursday, March 7th, 2024, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter of Paul in Philadelphia.
The Saint James the Great parish family congratulates Bishop-Elect Efren Esmilla!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)