The Vatican announced on Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two priests in the Diocese of Dallas as auxiliary bishops for the same diocese. In Washington D.C. this morning, papal nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi announced Fr. J. Douglas Deshotal and Monsignor Mark J. Seitz as the two who will help shepherd the burgeoning diocese.
“The appointments are very significant in that they show that the Holy Father is keenly aware of the tremendous growth of the Catholic Church in Texas,” said Bishop Kevin Farrell on Thursday. “I am very grateful to our Holy Father for acknowledging the growth of our Catholic population here in Dallas and for appointing Bishop-elect Deshotel and Bishop-elect Seitz to help me in our ministry to the 1.2 million Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas.”
Bishop-elect Deshotel was born in Basile, Louisiana in 1952 and currently serves as the Vicar General for the Diocese of Dallas. After obtaining his Masters in Divinity degree, he was ordained a priest in 1978.
“I am deeply humbled and also honored that Pope Benedict has appointed me, along with Bishop -elect Seitz as auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Dallas,” he said on Thursday. “It is also a great blessing that the Holy Father recognizes how important this area of the state of Texas is, given the large number of Catholics and the cultural diversity of the Diocese of Dallas.”
“When Bishop Farrell informed me that I was chosen to be an auxiliary bishop he prefaced it by saying that he was about to turn my life upside down. He certainly spoke the truth,” Bishop-elect Mark Seitz commented.
“But God is the Lord of my life,” Msgr. Seitz added. “I have learned through the years that following Christ is an adventure filled with totally unexpected dips and turns. When you give your life to His service you better learn to enjoy the ride.”
Bishop-elect Seitz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1954. Having lived in Dallas since 1972, he was ordained a priest in 1980 and went on the receive a Master's Degree in Liturgical Studies in Minnesota. He was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in 2004.
Msgr. Seitz was also recently in the news for donating one of his kidneys to an ailing parishioner.
Both of the bishops-elect concluded their statements by urging the diocesan community and the Church at large to pray for them as they begin their service as bishops.
They will be ordained as bishops on Tuesday, April 27 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas.