Father Cahill named bishop of Victoria Diocese
By Catholic News Service
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop David E. Fellhauer of Victoria, and named Father Brendan Cahill, a priest of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, to succeed him.
Bishop Fellhauer is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope.
Bishop-designate Cahill, 51, is a native of Florida who was ordained in 1990. He currently is director of the archdiocese’s Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services.
The changes were announced April 23 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.
The episcopal ordination of the newly named bishop is scheduled for June 29. He will be the third bishop of Victoria. Bishop Fellhauer has led the diocese since 1990.
Bishop-designate Cahill “has been a faithful priest of this archdiocese for close to 25 years and brings a wealth of gifts and experiences with him in this new ministry,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.
“His appointment is a sign of the Holy Father’s care for the needs of the people of southeast Texas, whose deep Catholic roots continue to be a vital presence in the region,” he said in a statement.
“While we celebrate the news of this episcopal appointment with joy, we nevertheless recognize the great loss that comes with (his) departure,” he added. “His warm and pastoral heart has been a wonderful asset to the people of Galveston-Houston and we are confident that he will serve the Diocese of Victoria well.”
At a news conference in Victoria April 23, Bishop-designate Cahill said his first step will be to listen to all the people of the diocese and that he wants to build on Bishop Fellhauer’s legacy before making any proposals of his own.
For his predecessor’s part, Bishop Fellhauer said he was delighted with his new status as “bishop emeritus,” adding that he plans to remain in Victoria and help out when needed.
Brendan John Cahill, 51, was born in Coral Gables, Fla. His family moved to Houston in 1971. He attended St. Cecilia Catholic School in Houston and graduated from St. Thomas High School in Houston in 1981. He attended Rice University for a year before entering St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston in 1982.
Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1990, then-Father Cahill was parochial vicar at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Houston and Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Spring, before serving as the formation director at St. Mary’s Seminary from 1998 to 2001.
He later was the rector at St. Mary’s Seminary from 2001 to 2010 and was an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology.
The bishop-designate studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and has theology degrees with specializations in the history and the theologians that were influential at the opening of the Second Vatican Council and on the Catholic doctrine on the interpretation of Scripture as developed at Vatican II.
In addition, he has a master’s degree in theology from Xavier University in New Orleans with a specialization on the experience and theology of African-American Catholics. Besides English, he speaks Spanish and Italian and has a working knowledge of French and German.
Bishop-designate Cahill is a spiritual director of the Houston Senatus of the Legion of Mary and a chaplain of the Houston Serra Club and the Knights of Columbus Galveston-Houston chapter. He is an associate chaplain of the Knights of Malta, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus.
When Bishop Fellhauer was installed to head the Victoria Diocese, he said that as bishop, he wanted to “witness the charity of Christ,” a phrase he adopted as his episcopal motto. The motto was derived from Canon 383, which identifies a bishop’s duties, in the Code of Canon Law.
Born Aug. 19, 1939, in Kansas City, Mo., he studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, and later earned doctorates in canon law and philosophy at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario. He was ordained a priest of the then-Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth May 29, 1965.
The Victoria Diocese covers about 9,600 square miles. Catholics number about 103,000, making up 36 percent of a total population of 288,000.