LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The Vatican has announced that Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantú is leaving for California.

The Catholic News Agency reports that Pope Francis appointed Cantú on Wednesday to be coadjutor bishop of San Jose, California. He will assist the 73-year-old Bishop Patrick J. McGrath with the administration of the Diocese of San Jose, and succeed McGrath upon his retirement or death.

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The 51-year-old Cantú has served as bishop of Las Cruces since February 2013.

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Bishop Oscar Cantu. (Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, NM)

Bishop Oscar Cantu. (Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, NM)

Born in Houston, Texas, to a large Mexican-American family, Cantú has been an outspoken advocate for immigrants and refugees.

In 2015, Cantú joined a group of bishops condemning racism in the U.S. in light of national tensions over police treatment of African-Americans.

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