By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Pope Francis has elevated a veteran priest from the Philadelphia Archdiocese to a new, high-profile role.
Monsignor Edward Deliman, who has been ministering for 38 years to the Spanish-speaking community, was appointed a new auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese.
The announcement came from the Vatican and Deliman, who has been ordained 43 years, says he never expected a letter he received nearly four decades ago would lead to this.
"When I was a young priest, we received a letter looking for volunteers to work in the Spanish-speaking community and I responded by saying I would be interested. It took a few years before it happened. And, then when I finally got a letter stating that I was being transferred to a Latino parish, I said that's fine, but I don't know any Spanish."
He says he quickly immersed himself in the language and the culture and his latest assignment is as pastor of the now combined St. Charles Boromeo parish in Bensalem, Bucks County.
Archbishop Charles Chaput says the choice is a good one.
"It's been the case in many dioceses, actually, that a priest who has a long-term commitment to Hispanic ministry who speaks Spanish well is appointed auxiliary."
He also says the Catholic church needs more native Latinos in ministry.
"One of my hopes is to increase the number of Latino folks in the seminary. We've been blessed for that to happen. But then it takes some time for them to get ordained and it takes some time for them to have experience before they would be considered for the office of bishop."
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