Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet the Bishop

Via San Jacinto -- that is, Houston Chancery -- a video introducing the freshly-named auxiliary of the 1.5 million-member church in the nation's fourth-largest city, Bishop-elect George Sheltz:

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo will formally present Rome's long-awaited H-Town deputy at a 10am Central presser.

His father a permanent deacon, according to an official release, the bishop-elect would become the second deacon's son to be raised the episcopacy on these shores, following the Washington auxiliary Barry Knestout, who was ordained in late 2008. Additionally like Knestout, a brother of Sheltz's was also ordained a priest; Fr Anton Sheltz died at 53 in 2003.

Given the demands on the South's first-ever red-hat at the helm of one of the nation's ten largest dioceses, today's appointee -- currently DiNardo's Curia chief after spending most of his four-decade priesthood in parish work -- has already been performing the episcopal duties of Confirmations and installing pastors, so an exceedingly smooth transition is expected.

SVILUPPO: Here below, Sheltz's statement on his appointment....
The Vatican announced this morning that I am to be the new Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I am moved and humbled by the news that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen me to serve in this capacity, in a place that has always been my home.

It has been a profound joy to serve as a parish priest in this Archdiocese, where I was born, raised, educated and nurtured in faith. I always wanted to serve simply as a parish priest, and I happily did so for 36 of my 40-plus years of priesthood.

In 2007, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo invited me to serve the priests and personnel of the Archdiocese in a special way: first, as Director for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services, and then, in 2010, as Vicar General, Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia. I am most grateful to Cardinal DiNardo for the opportunity to serve alongside him in these leadership roles.

I am indebted to Bishop Vincent Rizzotto, whose life as a pastor has inspired me, and to Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, who was my pastor when I was a young priest. Archbishop Fiorenza mentored me, molded me and shaped me into the priest I am today.

I am thankful to the Basilian fathers, who educated me at St. Thomas High School and were so instrumental in encouraging my vocation to the priesthood.

I am sad that my parents, the late [Deacon] George and Margaret Sheltz, and my brother, the late [Father] Anton Sheltz, cannot be with us on this joyous day. But I take comfort in knowing that my sister, Mary Margaret, and I continue to feel their love and support.

I look forward to continuing to work with the priests, deacons, religious women and men and lay faithful in this great Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. You are the face of the living Christ, and together we must work to make the person of Jesus known to youth, to our families, to the poor, to the sick and the suffering.

I ask for your prayers, patience and collaboration as I assume the responsibilities given to me. May God bless you all.