Pope Francis has named Dallas priest Monsignor John Gregory Kelly as the new assistant bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
The diocese said Kelly, 59, expressed gratitude and asked for prayers following the pope's announcement.
“I am truly overwhelmed and shocked when I think about it. I am confident that God’s grace to do this job comes with this call but ask that you please pray for me. I am grateful to the Holy Father, whom I greatly admire, for this appointment and I look forward to serving the people of the Diocese of Dallas as a bishop and working with Bishop Farrell and Bishop Doug Deshotel in this new capacity,” said Kelly.
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Bishop-elect Kelly’s title of Bishop becomes official with the Pope’s announcement, the diocese said, but he will be ordained in a ceremony on Feb. 11, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas.
Kelly, who was born in Le Mars, Iowa and raised in Colorado, has been a priest in the Dallas diocese for more than three decades. He came to North Texas in 1976 as a student at the University of Dallas and seminarian at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, the diocese said in a statement.
“I consider the fact that our Holy Father has appointed such an outstanding priest as Greg Kelly to serve as a bishop in our diocese to be an early Christmas gift from Pope Francis," said Dallas Bishop Kevin J. Farrell. "Bishop Kelly is extremely well-respected by priests and parishioners alike. He has done an outstanding job as pastor and chaplain, and has been very helpful to me in his role as Vicar for Clergy.”
The Dallas diocese is celebrating its 125th anniversary this month.