Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gig 'Em, Bishop – Pope Taps Aggieland's Beloved Sis For San Angelo

Aggies, you’ve been waiting on this one for a long time... and amid what was already American Catholicism's Biggest Night, the Vatican's finally said "Howdy!"

All of a sudden, the Stateside church's "Super Bowl" has become the SEC Championship: at Roman Noon, the Pope named Msgr Mike Sis, 53, heretofore vicar-general of Austin – the legendary figure who began the building of St Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M into the Stateside church's premier campus ministry, bar none – as bishop of San Angelo.

In the West Texas post, the South Jersey-born Sis succeeds another Bishop Mike revered for having the "smell of the sheep": Michael Pfeifer, the earthy, ever-candid class act who’s led the mostly rural, 37,500 square-mile diocese encompassing Midland, Abilene, Odessa and 29 counties all told since 1985, and who reached the retirement age of 75 in May 2012. An Oblate of Mary Immaculate, the Rio Grande-born missionary – named to succeed the future Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza on the native son's return to Houston – is said to have initially felt like he was cheated out of his religious vocation on his appointment as bishop, and has already started making plans to begin his retirement where his superiors sought to send him before the hat-call came: namely, Africa.

As for his successor, even if it's the "other" school's song, it's still no mistake to say that "the eyes of Texas" – and well beyond – have been upon Mike Sis for years. Indeed, while it's been some 36 months now since word of the questionnaires first started making the rounds, the only actual question was where he'd end up... and now, finally, the fun part begins.

SVILUPPO: Amid a frenzy 
of a kind this scribe has never seen from Sis-ites keen to know the arrangements – which proves the point above – San Angelo Chancery has announced that the bishop-elect will be ordained at 2pm on Monday, 27 January, at a see-city venue still to be determined.