Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In H-Town, Finally, Merry Auxmas

And at long last, Houston, we have liftoff....

At Roman Noon today, the Pope named Msgr George Sheltz, 65 -- a veteran, highly-regarded pastor who's served as vicar-general of Texas' 1.5 million-member marquee see since 2010 -- as the first long-awaited auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo... with another likely to be tapped in due course.

Elevated to metropolitan status in 2004 after its Catholic population grew sixfold over the prior three decades, what's now the largest diocese in the Lone Star State -- one of the nation's ten largest -- has lacked an active auxiliary since Sheltz's predecessor, Bishop Joe Vasquez, was named to the booming diocese of Austin in January 2010, leaving the Stateside church's first-ever Southern cardinal alone at the helm of the church in the nation's fourth-largest city.

Just like before, though -- six years ago today, liturgically speaking -- the move comes right in time for the famous H-Town Rodeo.

Of course, as ever, more to come.

SVILUPPO: From one parish priest to another, the Cardinardo's statement on the naming of his new auxiliary:
It is my great pleasure to congratulate Bishop-elect Sheltz on his appointment to be the new Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston.

As a parish priest and pastor for 36 years, Bishop-elect Sheltz has been a calm and kind shepherd to so many of our Catholic faithful at churches across the Archdiocese. More recently, as Vicar General and Chancellor, he has ably assisted me in the governance of this local Church. His serene demeanor in every administrative and pastoral situation signifies a man who is strong in his faith in the Lord and in the Church.

I join the people of Galveston-Houston in rejoicing over the Holy Father’s appointment of Bishop-elect Sheltz to this position. I look forward to working with you as my chief collaborator in this growing, diverse Archdiocese. May God bless you and guide you as you love and lead the Church with the heart of Christ.
According to early word from the San Jacinto Chancery, Scheltz's ordination in the recently-opened Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will take place sometime in "late April," the exact date apparently still to be determined.