Home » Posts tagged 'Pensacola-Tallahassee'

Texas pastor named bishop for Florida diocese

By

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Holy Cross Father William A. Wack, who is a pastor in Texas, to be the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee.

Bishop-designate Wack, 49, has been pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas, since 2009. He succeeds Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, who was named last November to head the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Pope Francis has named Holy Cross Father William A. Wack, pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas, since 2009, to be the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla. He succeeds Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, who was named last November to head the Diocese of St. Petersburg. (CNS photo/courtesy Congregation of Holy Cross)

Pope Francis has named Holy Cross Father William A. Wack, pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas, since 2009, to be the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla. He succeeds Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, who was named last November to head the Diocese of St. Petersburg. (CNS photo/courtesy Congregation of Holy Cross)

The appointment was announced in Washington May 29 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The date of Bishop-designate Wack’s episcopal ordination has not yet been determined.

“Now I know for sure that God is merciful, having called this sinner to serve in this capacity,” Bishop-designate Wack said May 29 in a statement about his appointment. “The first words which came to mind when I heard of the appointment were, ‘Lord I am not worthy … but only say the Word … .’ With joy and zeal, I accept this appointment, and I am thrilled to begin service to God’s people as a bishop.”

“While I am very sad to be leaving the parish of St. Ignatius Martyr in Austin … I couldn’t be more excited to move in and get to work here in the diocese,” he added.

He said he has always loved being a priest. “For me there is nothing higher than the privilege of celebrating the Eucharist and the other sacraments,” Bishop-designate Wack said. “Over the past 23 years I have grown tremendously in my faith, through the very mysteries I have served.”

As a Holy Cross priest, he continued, “I know of the power of the cross of Christ, and the hope that it brings to all creation. We in Holy Cross strive to be ‘educators in the faith’ wherever we go, and I am happy to continue to do this in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee.

Bishop-designate Wack added: “While I embrace a leadership position in the church once again, I believe that I stand to learn much from the very people I will serve. We are all God’s children, for we have been given God’s Spirit. It is our sacred duty to celebrate and practice our faith together, and to make God known, loved and served in all that we do.”

“Father Wack is an exemplary priest who is well respected by his brother priests and loved by those he serves,” Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin said in a statement. “Father Wack has been of great help to me, and I express my deep appreciation to him for his years of service in the Diocese of Austin.”

“As the people of Pensacola-Tallahassee come to know him, they will see his love for the church and his desire to serve his flock with warmth and compassion,” he added.

Holy Cross Father Thomas O’ Hara, provincial superior of the U. S. province of the Congregation of Holy Cross, called Bishop-designate Wack “a gifted pastor and administrator who possesses an extremely welcoming personality.”

“He is quick to reach out to all, is strong enough to lead and humble enough to listen. Above all, he is an outstanding priest who is passionate in his faith and absolutely dedicated to serving the people of God,” Father O’Hara said.

Bishop Parkes said he shared in the joy of Catholics of Pensacola-Tallahassee getting a new shepherd, who with the diocese “will be in my prayers during this time of transition.” 

Since Bishop Parkes’ appointment to St. Petersburg, Msgr. James Flaherty has served as Pensacola-Tallahassee’s diocesan administrator.

Born June 28, 1967, in South Bend, Indiana, Bishop designate-Wack is the second-youngest of 10 children. His younger brother also is a Holy Cross priest, Father Neil Wack.

William A. Wack entered the novitiate for the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1989. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame in 1989. He earned a master of divinity degree in 1993, also from Notre Dame.

He professed his final vows in 1993 and was ordained a priest April 9, 1994. His assignments after ordination included associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1994-1997. He was associate director of vocations for his congregation from 1997-2002 at Notre Dame; at that time, he also was with the Holy Cross Associates, 1998-2002.

He then spent six years, from 2002 to 2008, as director of Andre House of Hospitality in downtown Phoenix, which is ministers to the city’s poor and homeless. It runs a soup kitchen, which serves over 200,000 meals per year, and provides a small transition shelter for men and women; clothing and blanket distribution; and showers and lockers for its clients.

The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee covers about 14,000 square miles in Florida’s panhandle. Out of a total population of 1.46 million people, about 5 percent, or 67,316 people, are Catholic.

Comments Off on Texas pastor named bishop for Florida diocese

Bishop Parkes named bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla.

By

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, and named as his successor Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida.

The changes were announced Nov. 28 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., center, is seen during morning prayer Nov. 15 at the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops  in Baltimore. Pope Francis Nov. 28 named him to succeed retiring Bishop Robert N. Lynch as head of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., center, is seen during morning prayer Nov. 15 at the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. Pope Francis Nov. 28 named him to succeed retiring Bishop Robert N. Lynch as head of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Bishop Lynch, who has headed the St. Petersburg Diocese since 1996, is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. Bishop Parkes, 52, has been the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee since 2012.

“I’m very grateful to Pope Francis for appointing me bishop of St. Petersburg,” Bishop Parkes said in a statement. “It has been a joy to serve as bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee for the past four and a half years. I’m going to miss the panhandle and all those I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my time here.”

He will be installed as the fifth bishop of St. Petersburg Jan. 4 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg.

Bishop Parkes told Catholics of the St. Petersburg diocese that he felt “blessed to be your new shepherd. Please pray for me that I will be a good shepherd, that I will be faithful shepherd, a holy shepherd.”

Bishop Lynch said in a statement he is “relieved and grateful to Pope Francis” for giving the diocese a new bishop who is “a shepherd like his own heart.”

On March 20, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed then-Father Parkes to be the fifth bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee. He was installed June 5, 2012.

Born in Mineola, New York, April 2, 1964, Bishop Parkes attended Daytona Beach Community College in Florida before earning a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University. He went to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, from 1993 to 1996, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, from 1996 to 2000.

He earned a sacred theology degree in 1988 and a canon law degree in 2000, both from the Pontifical Gregorian University, also in Rome.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Orlando, Florida, by Bishop Norbert M. Dorsey June 26, 1999. He has two brothers, Christopher Parkes and Father Stephen Parkes, who is a priest of the Diocese of Orlando.

After his priestly ordination, then-Father Parkes’ parish assignments included parochial vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, 2000-2004, and parochial administrator and pastor of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Celebration, Florida, 2005-2012. He also was the Orlando diocese’s vicar general and chancellor for canonical affairs.

For six years before his episcopal ordination to head the St. Petersburg Diocese in January 1996, Bishop Lynch was general secretary of what was then the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the U.S. Catholic Conference in Washington. Before that, he was a staff member at the bishops’ conference as both layman and priest, including a stint as associate general secretary.

Born May 27, 1941, in Charleston, West Virginia, Robert Nugent Lynch received his bachelor of arts degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, in May 1963 and his master of divinity degree from Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, in May 1978. That same month, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Miami.

He served as associate pastor of St. James in North Miami, then as rector and president of St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami. As the fourth bishop of St. Petersburg, he succeeded Archbishop John C. Favalora, who had been named Miami archbishop a year earlier. Bishop Lynch chose as his motto, “Pro Amicis Suis” (“For his friends”).

Bishop Lynch continued the reorganization and management of the diocese begun under Archbishop Favalora. He commissioned the building of a new pastoral center, which was formally dedicated March 31, 2000. He also took an active role in planning for the future construction of new Catholic high schools, and improvements to the existing schools.

In one of his last blog posts as St. Petersburg’s bishop, Bishop Lynch recounted his recent trip in late October to Rome, where among other things he visited four men studying there to be priests for St. Petersburg.

“As I enter the remaining months of my leadership of the local church of St. Petersburg, I do so with the knowledge that almost all of my seminarians are not pursuing priesthood for respectability, ambition, power and influence but to be comfortable with a pastoral strategy that makes sense in a changing world and culture,” he wrote Oct. 28.

He added: “The very best things I bequeath to my successor are the future priests he will ordain for your service and that of the Lord.”

The St. Petersburg diocese covers about 3,200 square miles. It has a total population of just over 3 million, of whom just over 445,000, or 14 percent, are Catholic.

Comments Off on Bishop Parkes named bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.