DALLAS, Texas, MARCH 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI named Father Douglas Deshotel, 58, vicar general of the Dallas Diocese, and Monsignor Mark Seitz, 56, a pastor in that same diocese, as auxiliary bishops in that city.
The appointments were announced in Washington, D.C., today by the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi.
A press release from the Dallas Diocese noted that the last time it had an auxiliary was in 1969, before the diocese was split for better coverage of the area.
Bishop Kevin Farrell expressed gratitude to the Pope for these appointments, affirming that they are “very significant in that they show that the Holy Father is keenly aware of the tremendous growth of the Catholic Church in Texas.”
He continued, “I am very grateful to our Holy Father for acknowledging the growth of our Catholic population here in Dallas and for appointing Bishop-elect Deshotel and Bishop-elect Seitz to help me in our ministry to the 1.2 million Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas.”
The diocese currently spans 7,523 miles, with a population of 3.7 million people, 31% of them Catholic.
John Douglas Deshotel was born in Basile, Louisiana. He studied at the University of Dallas, and was later ordained a priest for that diocese in 1978.
Upon hearing of his appointment, Bishop-elect Deshotel noted, “It is also a great blessing that the Holy Father recognizes how important this area of the state of Texas is, given the large number of Catholics and the cultural diversity of the Diocese of Dallas.”
In a bilingual English and Spanish statement, he thanked the faithful for their support and asked for prayers as he strives “to bring the beautiful Gospel message of God’s love and redemption to all whom I serve.”
Mark Seitz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but moved to the Dallas Diocese in 1972 when he entered Holy Trinity Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1980, and has most recently been serving as pastor of St. Rita Church.
Bishop-elect Seitz affirmed, in a bilingual statement after his appointment: “From my earliest memories I have felt drawn to the priesthood.
“Nothing seemed like it could compare to the chance to give my life to God in this way and to serve people by offering them the greatest of his gifts.”
“God is the Lord of my life,” he said. “I have learned through the years that following Christ is an adventure filled with totally unexpected dips and turns. When you give your life to his service you better learn to enjoy the ride.”