Bishop Seiz of El Paso Diocese visits Van Horn

By Robert Morales —

Mark Seitz, Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, was welcomed to Our Lady of Fatima Church with a standing room-only congregation last Sunday.

Bishop Seitz has been visiting various West Texas parishes that are in the Diocese of El Paso jurisdiction.

“Bishop Mark Seitz's visit was a blessing for Our Lady of Fatima Church. His visit confirms our identity as Catholics and renews our commitment to our faith.,” said Father Saul Pacheco, Our Lady of Fatima Parish Administrator. “His presence in our community gives us great hope in the future and helps us understand that we are part of something greater; the Diocese of El Paso and of course the universal Church.”

Pope Francis named Auxilliary Bishop Mark Seitz of Dallas as the sixth bishop of El Paso on May 6, 2013, succeeding Bishop Armando Ochoa, who was installed as Bishop of Fresno, Calif. in February 2012.

Bishop Seitz was born in Milwaukee, the oldest of 10 children. According to the bishop's online profile, as a little boy he remembers he wanted to be a fireman, a doctor, or even a priest. He thought, “If I were a fireman or a doctor, I could save lives, but they were still going to die. If I were a priest, I could save people so they could live forever.

Bishop Seitz attended Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas starting in 1972. He was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Dallas on May 17, 1980. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, a Masters in Dvinity and a Master's Degree in Liturgical Studies from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. Pope John Paul II name him a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor in 1985. Seitz was named Auxilliary Bishop of Dallas on March 11, 2010. He took as his motto, “Paratum cor meum,” meaning, “My heart is ready.”

Bishop Seitz served as Parochial Vicar at Good Shepherd Parish from 1980-1984, Adjunct Professor at the University of Dallas from 1985-1994, Spritual Director at Holy Trinity Seminary in 1986 and 1987, Vice-Rector at Holy Trinity Seminary from 1987 to 1993, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Waxahachie from 1993 to 2003, Pastor of St. Rita Parish in Dallas from 2003 to 2010 and Pastor of All Saints Parish in Dallas from 2010 to 2013.

During his tenure at St. Rita, he donated a kidney to one of his parishioners in 2009.

“We follow the model of one who literally gave his life for us. If he can lay down his life, I can give away a kidney,”said Seitz at the time.

While at the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Seitz served in the diocesan Liturgical Commission, the Committee for the Continuing Education of Priests, the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. Also, he served as the Spiritual Director of the White Rose Women's Center and on the board of directors of the BirthChoice Catholic Crisis Pregnancy Center in Dallas. He was the Spiritual Advisor to DFW Courage from 1998 until 2010. At the national level, Seitz serves on the Subcomittee on Hispanic Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Bishop Mark was very grateful for the hospitality that our community offered him and he has promised to visit us again in the near future,”said Father Pacheco.

“He was impressed by the hard working men and women he encountered and by the sincere commitment so many have to their Catholic faith. I am grateful that Bishop Mark visited Van Horn and celebrated the Holy Mass with us.”