Diocese welcomes its first auxiliary bishop
By Shelley Metcalf
Catholic Spirit Staff
The Diocese of Austin welcomed its first auxiliary bishop as Bishop Joe S. Vásquez ordained Bishop Daniel E. Garcia on March 3 at St. William Parish in Round Rock.
“Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has given the Diocese of Austin an extraordinary gift of an auxiliary bishop,” Bishop Vásquez said during his homily.
“Daniel, as a native son, you know the history of this diocese and have an appreciation for its great diversity and its continued growth … thank you for accepting the appointment of the Holy Father. We are grateful that you said yes just as you said yes years ago when you were ordained a deacon and then a priest,” Bishop Vásquez said.
Bishop Garcia was raised in Cameron, and was ordained a priest of the Austin Diocese on May 28, 1988. He served as associate pastor of St. Catherine of Siena, Cristo Rey and St. Louis King of France parishes in Austin and as founding pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin. Bishop Vásquez named him vicar general of the diocese in March of last year (see more on Bishop Garcia on Pages 20-21).
Bishop Vásquez also encouraged Bishop Garcia to rely on Christ’s grace to carry out his new role as bishop.
With the charity of a father and brother, “love all whom God places in your care, especially the priests and deacons, who are our co-workers in the ministry of Christ,” the bishop said.
“You have served generously the people of this diocese, now as auxiliary bishop you will assist me in shepherding the people of Central Texas with all its gifts, blessings and challenges. Congratulations!” Bishop Vásquez concluded.
Bishop Garcia will continue to serve as vicar general and moderator of the curia of the Diocese of Austin. He will also help Bishop Vásquez with the celebration of the sacrament of confirmation and other commitments across the diocese (see more on the role of auxiliary bishop in the Bishop’s Interview on Page 19).
The church was filled to capacity as bishops, priests, deacons, religious, family and friends welcomed the newly ordained bishop. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo and Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi were among the bishops present.
At the conclusion of the ordination, Bishop Garcia thanked everyone –– from the clergy to his family and co-workers –– for their support throughout his priestly ministry.
“You have been so supportive of me throughout my priestly ministry that words will never express the sentiments of thanksgiving that I have in my heart today … As I begin my episcopal ministry, I ask for your continued prayers,” Bishop Garcia said.
“There is much work to be done, so let us continue to share our gifts with one another, walk humbly with our God and celebrate the Good News with all whom we encounter,” he said.