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SALT LAKE CITY — A monumental night for Catholics across Utah.
For the first time in almost two years, the Salt Lake City Diocese has a bishop.
On Monday Bishop Oscar Solis was introduced at the Cathedral of the Madeline. He addressed the diocese with a joke, “I am totally yours, even in the snow.”
Solis went on to say, “I am especially grateful to the Holy Father Pope Francis for the confidence he has shown me and by appointing me the tenth bishop of the diocese of Salt Lake City.”
Bishop Solis is the first Philippine-American bishop in the United states. He was most recently an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles before being called to Salt Lake City.
"Last time we had a bishop was mid-April 2015, so almost two years, the longest time in the United States history where a diocese has not had a bishop," said Chris Huntzinger, of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
Bishop William Weigand, who was bishop of Salt Lake City from 1980 to 1994, said Solis will be a perfect fit.
"He's a great pick, he's a marvelous churchman, a marvelous person, great personality, meets people well, speaks different languages, he will do very well, I can't be happier," said Weigand.
Some people came as far as Denver to be there to catch a glimpse of Solis and hear him speak.
"It's extremely important because he will be the leader and he will organize, he will administrate the parishes, he will also be the spiritual guide to help people to know God," said Father Giuseppe Fedele.
Local parishioners said they really believe Solis can make a difference not just at the altar but out on the streets, even with tough political issues like homelessness.
"He might find better ways to extend our outreach and to help the city as well, we do a lot of work in that area and I think he'll be able to forward that," said Huntzinger.