Pope Francis names Dallas Bishop to lead El Paso Diocese
POSTED: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 9:48am
UPDATED: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 4:10pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Pope Francis named Bishop Mark Seitz of Dallas as the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. The announcement was made Monday, shortly after 4 a.m. Mountain Time from the Vatican.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Seitz has lived in the Diocese of Dallas since 1972, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1980.
The El Paso Diocese had been without a leader since February, 2012 when Pope Benedict XVI transferred Bishop Armando Ochoa to Fresno, California.
Bishop Ochoa had served El Paso since 1996. He continued to serve as the Apostolic Administrator of the El Paso Diocese during the search for a new Bishop.
In February, Bishop Ochoa said he did not know who his successor would be.
"It has been a big challenge, and it continues to be. I'm hoping and praying and I don't know what's going to happen…but if there’s a name in the pipeline, I’m not aware of it,” said Ochoa.
Bishop Ochoa will introduce Bishop Seitz to the local Catholic community at 10 a.m. Monday in the Martyrs of Americas Hall located at 8330 Park Haven Ave.
Father Francisco Figueroa Moran of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Central El Paso said he is relieved to know there is a new leader, after more than a year.
"There is a lot of work to be done in our Diocese because the position has been vacant for a long time. I think the qualities the new Bishop should have are that he can motivate the people of God and provide guidance,” said Father Moran.
Agustin Ortega, a parishioner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also said he hopes the new Bishop will have strong qualities.
"A person that is humble and open to the public, that is easy to communicate with, especially communication because he has to be able to communicate with his flock. If he can't get that message across, it's hard for us to follow him. And the young people of today, they need some leadership, some guidance because you come to church and you don't see many young people," said Ortega.
Read more about Bishop Seitz: