Tulsa's next bishop has history in campus ministry and carpentry

Father David Konderla, who was appointed Bishop of Tulsa May 13, 2016. Credit: Diocese of Austin.
Father David Konderla, who was appointed Bishop of Tulsa May 13, 2016. Credit: Diocese of Austin.

.- Pope Francis on Friday named Father David Austin Konderla, the longtime campus ministry director at Texas A & M University, as the next Bishop of Tulsa.

He will succeed Tulsa’s Bishop Edward Slattery, who turned 75 last August.

“My prayer of petition to God the Father is for the good health and spiritual strength of the new bishop,” Bishop Slattery said May 13. “I know our people have been praying that Pope Francis would send us an energetic and prayerful man to be our shepherd, and I believe God has heard our prayer.”

The bishop-designate has served as pastor and director of campus ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A & M University since August 2005, the Austin diocese said.

Bishop-designate Konderla was born June 3, 1960 in Bryan, Texas, 100 miles northeast of Austin. He was the second of twelve children and has 25 nieces and nephews. He graduated from Bryan High School in 1978 and worked for several years as a machinist. He entered the seminary in 1985, and graduated from the University of Dallas in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Austin June 3, 1995.

He has a masters of divinity from the University of St. Thomas and St. Mary’s Seminary, and has also cultivated skills in woodworking and carpentry.

The bishop-designate has served on the Austin diocese’s College of Consultors, its presbyteral council, and its priests’ personnel board.

He served at St. Louis Parish in Austin and St. Luke’s Parish in Temple, Texas. He then served for four years as associate pastor of St. Mary’s before being named vocation director for the Diocese of Austin.

Bishop-designate Konderla’s ordination is tentatively scheduled for the end of June.

Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin said he was “filled with joy” at the appointment.

“I invite the Diocese of Austin to join me in prayer as Father Konderla transitions from our diocese to shepherd the people of the Diocese of Tulsa.”

Bishop Slattery said his heart “turns to Christ with sentiments of gratitude and joy for his constant Presence in my life and in the life of the Church.”

The Tulsa diocese has 78 parishes and missions across the 31 counties of eastern Oklahoma.

Tags: Diocese of Tulsa, Fr Konderla