Today Pope Francis appointed Bishop Mark J. Seitz, an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Dallas, as head of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas. The El Paso see has been vacant since February 2012, when Bishop Armando Ochoa was installed as bishop of Fresno, California.
Bishop Seitz, who serves on the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, will take over a diocese spanning 10 counties in West Texas, which includes some 650,000 Catholics, 80 percent of the area’s over-all population.
In a statement released by the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Seitz said that he has cherished his time there: “Since I entered the seminary here in Dallas as a young 18-year old boy, I have loved Dallas and the Church of Dallas. You have become my family. Dallas has become my home. But when I presented myself for ordination as a deacon, I gave my life to God’s service and I promised to be at the disposal of the Church. I accept this call as a new opportunity to follow the Good Shepherd and, with His help, to be one.”
The statement from the Dallas diocese includes a brief bio of the new El Paso bishop:
Bishop Seitz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 10, 1954. He has lived in the Diocese of Dallas since 1972 when he began his priestly formation at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1980. In 1985, he received a Master’s Degree in Liturgical Studies from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He also holds a Master’s in Divinity and a Master’s in Theology from the University of Dallas. He was named a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in December 2004. He has served on the diocesan Liturgical Commission and the Committee for Continuing Education of Priests. He is a member of the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors in the Diocese of Dallas.