.- Monsignor William Michael Mulvey from the Diocese of Austin was named today by Pope Benedict to become the new Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas. At a press conference in Corpus Christi on Monday morning, Bishop-elect Mulvey said he was humbled by the appointment, expressed his loyalty to the Holy Father and greeted the faithful of his new flock.
Bishop-elect Mulvey will replace Bishop Edmond Carmody at the helm of the Texas diocese, who stepped down after almost 10 years of service.
Speaking at the Diocese of Corpus Christi's chancery at 10 a.m. local time on Monday, Bishop-elect Mulvey said, “I am humbled and grateful to Pope Benedict XVI for his confidence in choosing me for this indispensable ministry in the Church. I pledge to His Holiness my loyal communion, fraternal love and respect as a bishop of the Church. And to all of the people of the diocese I want to express my esteem for you as brothers and sisters in faith. I pledge to all of you that I will serve you in the name of the Lord to the best of my ability.”
The bishop-elect also related how he received word of the Pope's decision.
“On December 11th Archbishop Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States called me in the middle of the afternoon informing me of the Holy Father's decision to appoint me as the 8th bishop of Corpus Christi. There were three people lined up outside my door waiting for their already 'late' appointments, since I was running behind with my schedule. Needless to say the Nuncio's call was a shock and caused time to stand still. For a moment I asked the question 'Did he make a mistake?'; 'Did he have the right telephone number?' And as the reality set in, other questions emerged regarding worthiness, preparation, ability, etc.,” Msgr. Mulvey recalled.
That night was a short one for Msgr. Mulvey, who said that he had “a 'less than refreshing' one hour of sleep.” Being the administrator of the Diocese of Austin since August 2009, he left the next morning for Las Mañanitas and a Mass in honor of the Virgin Mary at the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Austin. The parish was “full of people full of faith in Jesus Christ and love for Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. It was truly a celebration,” he said.
The Bishop-elect Mulvey revealed that at that Mass he “not only entrusted myself to our mother, but also the Diocese of Corpus Christi.”
Msgr. Mulvey was ordained to the priesthood on July 29, 1975 by Pope Paul VI along with 359 other priests in St. Peter's Square, according to the Diocese of Austin's website.
He has since served as parish priest in churches in five different cities in Texas, as director of spiritual formation and most recently vice rector of St. Mary's Seminary in Houston and as an active member of the Focolare movement, worked in directive capacities at the movement's institutions of formation for diocesan priests in Florence, Italy and Hyde Park, N.Y.
The Diocese of Austin reported that Bishop-elect Mulvey is "happy" to have been nominated as the eighth bishop of "the only diocese in the world named after the Body of Christ."
Bishop-elect Mulvey's Mass of Ordination and Installation will be held at Corpus Christi Cathedral on March 25.