Mexican-American Named to Austin Diocese

AUSTIN, Texas, JAN. 26, 2010 ( Benedict XVI appointed Bishop José Vásquez, auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, as head of the Diocese of Austin.

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A press release from the diocese noted that Bishop Vásquez, 52, is the first Mexican-American to lead that diocese.

He succeeds Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who was appointed last June as the archbishop of New Orleans, Louisiana.

José Vásquez was born in Stamford, Texas, as the oldest of six children. He was ordained a priest in 1984 by Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of the Diocese of San Angelo.

In 2002 he was ordained a bishop for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, where he has been most recently serving as the vicar general and chancellor.

In response to the appointment, publicized today, Bishop Vásquez said, «I wish to thank Pope Benedict XVI for the confidence he has placed in me in naming me shepherd of the Diocese of Austin.»

He affirmed: «Most of all, I give thanks to God for the gift of priesthood, which has brought me such joy for 25 years.

«I trust in the Holy Spirit to enlighten me for this next step in my journey.»

The Diocese of Austin has some 500,000 Catholics and 127 parishes and missions served by 209 priests, 187 permanent deacons and 206 religious.

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