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Dallas Pastor Named New Bishop of Lubbock September 27, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, huh?, priests, the struggle for the Church.

And the influence of the Diocese of Dallas – once a relative backwater – continues to grow.  I think this makes the 7th or 8th diocese with a bishop with strong ties to the Diocese of Dallas.  That weren’t the case even a few years ago, when Dallas used to be the kind of diocese that received bishops from elsewhere, rather than being a “breeding ground” for them.  Perhaps this is yet another of the effects of Bishop Farrell’s rather short tenure, a significant increase in the Diocese of Dallas’ profile.

At any rate, Msgr. Robert Coerver of Saint Rite parish in Dallas has been named by Francis as the third Bishop of Lubbock, TX, replacing retiring Bishop Palacido Rodriguez:

Pope Francis has named the pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, Reverend Monsignor (pronounced Mon-senior) Robert Coerver (pronounced curve-er), to serve as the new Bishop of Lubbock.  The appointment was announced today in Washington, D.C. by the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, followed by the announcement in the Diocese of Lubbock.

With the appointment, Reverend Monsignor Coerver will become the third bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock.  Monsignor Coerver says he was very surprised by the news but grateful to the Holy Father for his confidence in him. He says that while he looks forward to serving Lubbock, he will miss Dallas.  “I was born and raised here in Dallas; my family roots are here and my ancestors were among Dallas’ first Catholics.  I have developed so many fantastic relationships over the years and it will be difficult to have them take on a different nature.  I have cherished my work among my brother priests and upon hearing of my appointment a slight pang of sadness came upon me.  But, as a priest, I have always known that I must follow wherever the Lord leads me, and so when asked if I would accept the appointment I did so immediately because I have promised to serve wherever the Church needs me.  I happily look forward to this new role as chief shepherd of the Catholic faithful in Lubbock and pray that God will assist me in leading the Catholic people there.  I ask the prayers of the people of the Diocese of Dallas as I prepare to assume my new responsibilities.”………

………Bishop-elect Coerver has served at numerous parishes in the Diocese of Dallas, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and as pastor at Our Lady of the Lake in Rockwall, and since 2010 at St. Rita in North Dallas. He will be ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock at a special Mass of Ordination on November 21, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Christ the King Cathedral in Lubbock.

Is it just me, or does Bishop-elect Coerver seem a little less than thrilled to be headed to the dry, flat plains of West Texas? I much prefer Amarillo, myself.

No, I don’t know anything about Bishop-elect Coerver.  I’m all ears if people have some knowledge of his liturgical, doctrinal, and pastoral sensibilities.  Saint Rita is one of the larger, more prosperous parishes in the Diocese, for whatever that’s worth.

Well, good luck and God speed to both Bishop-elect Coerver and the people of the Diocese of Lubbock.

Here’s a video showing the official press conference introducing Bishop-elect Coerver to the Diocese of Lubbock:

His episcopal motto: “Suscipe Domine” – the beginning of Saint Ignatius Loyola’s famous prayer on self-surrender to the Grace of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps a good sign?


1. Peter - September 27, 2016

Fr. Coerver always seemed to me to be a humble, hardworking and holy priest.

2. MFG - September 28, 2016

As an amateur Dallas Catholic historian, I believe his great (great?) grandfather, Michael Coerver was one of the founders of the Catholic Church in Dallas. He helped carve the beautiful high altar of the Cathedral that we see in the iconic photos of Bishop Lynch’s installation in May 1911.

He later helped founded St. Joseph’s German parish on Swiss Ave and I think was a founding member of the first Knights council in Dallas. I think there is a plaque in uptown denoting where he once lived.

I believe later after Michael’s passing, his wife and family migrated from uptown to the new neighborhoods around Mockingbird, and settled at the new parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, where Fr. Coerver grew up.

Tantumblogo - September 28, 2016

One thing I failed to note: Bishop-elect Coerver, as well as his predecessor in Lubbock, both wore the cassock at the press conference. That is something Bishop Farrell never did outside Mass, certainly not in public press conferences, where he always wore the clerical suit.

Another positive sign?

3. David - September 28, 2016

Fr. Coerver is my pastor. He is one priest who says every Mass like it is his first or last. The many times he has celebrated Mass, he rarely uses Eucharistic Prayer II (usually I, III, or IV). His homilies are challenging and informative, not the “status quo”, and if Sunday Mass lasts an hour and fifteen minutes, that was fine with him. For one, I never complained, and I wish we had more priests like him who command a “manly” presence. It’s been worth a 20-35 minute drive to St. Rita’s for 10+ years.

I also recall him being a good and tactful leader – and one who does not let parishioners walk all over him. Fr. Coerver also emphasizes the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with confession lines on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings at St. Rita being well attended, and both priests (sometimes he will invite a third priest) will stay until done, even if it takes over two hours.

Fr. Coerver will definitely be missed. I know who I would like to see replace him as pastor, but I’m not one that makes those decisions.

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