Father Danny Garcia is now auxiliary bishop
By Shelley Metcalf
Catholic Spirit Staff
Pope Francis has named Father Daniel E. Garcia, the vicar general of the Diocese of Austin, as auxiliary bishop of the diocese. The appointment was announced Jan. 21 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.
The newly named auxiliary bishop will assist Bishop Joe Vásquez, who has headed the Austin Diocese since 2010. Bishop-designate Garcia is the first auxiliary bishop the diocese has ever had in its 67-year history.
During a press conference after the announcement was made, Bishop Vásquez said he was grateful for the gift of Bishop-designate Garcia to the local church, especially since the Austin Diocese has experienced tremendous growth over the last two decades.
“This appointment is recognition by our Holy Father of the growing needs of the people of this diocese,” Bishop Vásquez said. “As auxiliary bishop, Bishop-elect Garcia will assist me in carrying out my responsibilities, particularly assisting me in shepherding the good people of Central Texas.”
During the Jan. 21 press conference, Bishop-designate Garcia expressed his appreciation to the “many people, family, friends, co-workers, brother priests and parishioners over the years” who have walked with him in his ministry as a priest.
“In the midst of these years, I have had wonderful examples of priests and bishops –– young and old, living and deceased –– who have modeled for me what priestly service is. They, as well as the people I have served, have enabled me to be the priest I am today,” he said.
Bishop-designate Garcia, who is 54, was born and raised in Cameron, a small town in Milam County. His mother died two years ago after a long battle with luekemia, but his father still lives in Cameron. He has three younger sisters.
“I am very grateful to my family who undoubtedly instilled in me a profound love of the Lord Jesus Christ, a love for his church, a love for his mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a love to serve one another,” Bishop-designate Garcia said.
He earned an associate of arts degree from Tyler Junior College in 1982, a bachelor of arts in Philosophy from St. Mary’s Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Houston in 1984 and a master’s of Divinity from the same university in 1988.
He was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Austin on May 28, 1988, by Bishop John E. McCarthy. In 2007, Bishop-designate Garcia earned a master’s degree in Liturgical Studies in 2007 from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Bishop-designate Garcia has served in a variety of roles in the Diocese of Austin. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Austin, followed by Cristo Rey Parish in Austin and St. Louis King of France Parish in Austin. He briefly served at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Humble in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
In 1995, he was named founding pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin and led the parish from its inception through multiple building projects until his appointment as vicar general and moderator of the curia in March 2014.
During the press conference, Bishop-designate Garcia was especially appreciative to Bishop Vásquez for his leadership over the last five years.
“It has been a blessing for me to work with you since my appointment as vicar general a little over 10 months ago,” he said. “I look forward to our continued collaboration, as I work to assist you in shepherding this local church of the Diocese of Austin.”
Bishop-designate Garcia will be ordained bishop at a Mass March 3 at 2 p.m. at St. William Parish in Round Rock. More details on the Mass will be published at