New US Bishops: San Angelo, Texas and Jackson, Mississippi

This morning the Holy See announced the decision of Pope Francis to accept the retirement of Bishop Michael David Pfeifer, O.M.I. and to name Bishop-elect Michael J. Sis as the new Bishop of San Angelo, Texas, USA.

Pope Francis also accepted the retirement of Bishop Joseph Nunzio Latino and named Bishop-elect Joseph R. Kopacz as the new Bishop of Jackson, Mississippi, USA.

Congrats! :thumbsup:

Does anyone here know anything about Bishop Sis or Kopacz?

Here’s an article on Bishop-designate Sis:

At one time he was chaplain of the ginormous campus ministry at Texas A&M and he spearheaded the construction of their current facilities. They are the largest university Catholic center in the country (as far as I understand). Lots of good stuff happening there.

I’m not familiar with Bishop-designate Kopacz.

joe, Fr. Kopacz’s parish is about five minutes from where I work. I have only met him briefly a few times, but the folks I work with, who attend or have attended his parish, have only good things to say about him. Link to parish website:

Thanks :slight_smile:

Here’s another article on Bishop-designate Sis from the Aggies themselves:

I was a member of St. Mary’s (with Fr. Mike as the pastor) for a couple of years in the late 90s. He will make an excellent bishop!

I am sure there in-depth background information about Bishop-elect jKopacz, somewhere.

For the time being, here is a smidgen from the Jackson newspaper and from a Pennsylvania television station.

Kopacz is a priest of the Diocese of Scranton… and was ordained in 1977. He has served the Scranton diocese in many capacities, including as a pastor, formation director, vicar for priests, vicar general and coordinator for Hispanic Ministry.

Kopacz will inherit a diocese that is the largest, by land area, east of the Mississippi River, but one of the smallest in terms of adherents, with 48,000 Catholics. It covers the state’s 65 northernmost counties.

In his more than four years at the Most Holy Trinity Parish in the Poconos, Father Kopacz oversaw the joining of three churches into that one parish, which parishioners say was no easy task.

“I knew right from the beginning when I met him this guy was bishop material, he’s a great guy, the best pastor I’ve ever worked for,” said Deacon Ronald Verkon.

Of all the qualities Father Joe has shown, Deacon Verkon said his ability to be calm under pressure is the most impressive.

Fr. Mike Sys is a really cool guy, I have known for a long time that he would become a bishop, I am really thrilled by the news.:thumbsup:

I’m still waiting for my old college chaplain to be named a bishop. Maybe someday. :slight_smile:

Cristiano and David C:

Like both of you, I was really pleased with this appointment. Fr. Michael Sis and Fr. Dean Wilhelm were both instrumental in bringing me back into the Catholic Church when I was at Texas A&M. I attended the Newman Center periodically from 1992 to 1994 while I was a student, and Fr. Mike tapped me later on to be head usher at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday evening. Both Fr. Michael Sis and Fr. Dean Wilhelm were assigned there in the Summer of 1992.

A few years ago, when the Diocese of Austin was vacant due to the elevation of Bishop Aymond to Archbishop of New Orleans, I prayed that either Fr. Michael Sis or Fr. Dean Wilhelm would be appointed bishop there. Both have good credentials (i.e. graduates of the North American College in Rome, and Fr. Mike Sis was a vocations director and worked in the Chancery Office as Vicar General, while Fr. Dean Wilhelm was on the Faculty at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston), and both are still young (bishop-elect Sis is 53, and I believe Fr. Dean Wilhelm is 51). When an auxiliary from Houston received the appointment, I felt that either Fr. Mike or Fr. Dean would get another see.

I prayed that Msgr. Michael Olsen (now bishop-elect Olsen) would get Fort Worth (I figured he was a good candidate, and on the “short list”), but when the summer began, the appointment was still vacant (I was thinking a seminary rector would not be appointed during the middle of the year), so I was thinking that Msgr. Olsen had been passed over. After that, I prayed that either Fr. Mike or Fr. Dean would get Fort Worth. Well, I was wrong, and Bishop-elect Olsen received the Fort Worth appointment on November 19.

Bishop-elect Olsen is a good priest - I really liked him when he was a parochial vicar at a parish I attended for a couple of years when I lived close to DFW airport. Bishop-elect Olsen is also very Pro-Life, like Fr. Dean Wilhelm and Fr. Michael Sis. The first homily I ever heard on Humanae Vitae was done by Bishop-elect Sis while I was a student at Texas A&M.

I had a feeling that Fr. Mike and Fr. Dean were on the “short list” for Fort Worth, and with the retirement coming in San Angelo, I was wondering if Fr. Mike and Fr. Dean were being considered for that See. Both Fr. Mike and Fr. Dean would be excellent bishops. Both also speak Spanish, which will be helpful in the Diocese of San Angelo.

I welcome Bishop-Elect Michael Sis to the Diocese of San Angelo. I know he will do well there. Without Bishop-Elect Sis or Fr. Dean Wilhelm, there’s a good chance I might be sitting in the pew of a Protestant Church.

My predictions for bishop appointments next year (to take place from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014) based only on perception and intuition are:

  1. Fr. Dean Wilhelm will be appointed bishop for the Diocese of Victoria (Texas)

  2. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas will be appointed Archbishop of Santa Fe (New Mexico) sometime in 2014 when Archbishop Sheehan turns 75

  3. Auxiliary Bishop Douglas Deshotel of Dallas will become the Bishop of Dallas if Bishop Farrell is elevated

  4. Auxiliary Bishop Walterschied of Pittsburgh will become the Bishop of Albany (NY) upon Pope Francis I accepting the resignation of Bishop Howard Hubbard (Hubbard’s papers have supposedly been submitted to the Vatican)

  5. Fr. John Trigilio, ThD. will be appointed the Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

  6. I would also like to see a co-adjutor appointed to the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, since Loverde will be 75 soon. Hmmm…love to see Fr. Jim Gould in that position.

Well, that’s all for today folks. Gig 'Em God!

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