The Holy See announced that Pope Francis has made two new appointments in the United States. Bishop Bernard A. Hebda was named Co-Adjutor of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, while in Louisiana, Bishop Shelton Fabre will serve as the new Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux.
Bishop Fabre will replace Bishop Sam G. Jacobs, whose resignation was accepted by the Pope after having reached the age limit.
“I am humbled and excited by this appointment by the Holy Father, and I pledge to serve the needs of the Church here in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux to the very best of my ability. In all that we do, it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we praise and serve, and I am confident that together we will grow in faith,” Bishop Fabre said of his appointment.
“I look forward to making the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux my new home, and I rejoice in the opportunity to become a part of this local Church and this unique area of our State of Louisiana. The varied natural beauty that abounds in this diocese is reflective of the beauty of the rich cultural diversity of our Church, and of the glory of the Lord God who created all.”
Bishop Jacobs also expressed his gratefulness to the Holy Father for appointing Bishop Fabre as his successor, saying that he believed “that he is the right person at this time of the life of this great diocese.”
“At this point in my lifetime I know it is time for me to pass the torch of administration and embrace more fully the priestly ministry I was ordained for. My plans are to live in Houma and continue to serve the Church until the Lord calls me to him,” Bishop Jacobs said.
Co-Adjutor Named for Newark, New Jersey
Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark announced today during a press conference that the Holy Father granted his request to name a Co-Adjutor Archbishop to assist in the administration of Archdiocese.
Pope Francis named the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, MI, as Co-Adjutor.
In making this announcement, Archbishop Myers stated: “Today I have the personal privilege and honor of introducing Bishop Bernard A. Hebda.
“Considering some major projects to be implemented in the Archdiocese, and the fact that three of us Bishops in Newark are in our 70’s, I had requested a Co-Adjutor Archbishop some time ago. Pope Francis has honored my request and honored the Archdiocese of Newark by the gift of appointing Most Reverend Bernard Hebda as Co-Adjutor Archbishop of this Great Archdiocese.”
“We have been friends and collaborators for years. I happily look forward to our increased collaboration for the benefit of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark, in the years ahead,” Archbishop Myers concluded.
Archbishop Hebda addressed the gathering by stating: “If you’re wondering if I am as surprised as you are by this appointment, the answer is ‘Yes,’ and yet I am truly thrilled to be here to begin my service.
“I am humbled by Pope Francis’ confidence in calling me to this local Church, renowned for its generous pastoral outreach to those who have come to these shores and its consistently passionate response to the call to live out the Gospel,” he continued.
“I am also grateful to Pope Francis for providing me with the ‘co-Adjustor’s cushion,’ an opportunity to experience the vitality of this local Church and its challenges before ever being placed at the helm.”
A Mass of Welcome for the new Co-Adjutor will take place in November at the Cathedral Basilica of Newark.