New Bishop for Houma-Thibodaux Diocese

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Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of New Orleans to lead southern Louisiana diocese

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Sam G. Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux and named Auxiliary Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of New Orleans to succeed him. The resignation and appointment were announced in Washington, Sept. 23, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Fabre, who was ordained Titular Bishop of Pudenziana and Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans by Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans in February 2007, was installed as the fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux Wednesday, October 30, at 2:00 p.m., at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma.

Bishop Jacobs says he is grateful to Pope Francis for appointing Bishop Fabre as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.
“I have personally known him since his ordination as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. I believe that he is the right person at this time of the life of this great diocese,” said retiring Bishop Jacobs.

As required by Canon Law, Bishop Jacobs tendered his resignation on his 75th birthday in March of this year. He was born March 4, 1938, in Greenwood, MS, and was reared in Lake Charles, LA. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lafayette in 1964, and was ordained to the episcopacy and became the 10th Bishop of Alexandria in 1989. He was installed as the Third Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux in 2003.

“I am grateful to God for my 10 years as shepherd of this diocese. I have been blessed in many ways by the ministry and cooperation of the priests, deacons, religious and laity. At this point in my lifetime I know it is time for me to pass the torch of administration and embrace more fully the priestly ministry I was ordained for. My plans are to live in Houma and continue to serve the Church until the Lord calls me to him,” adds Bishop Jacobs.

At a press conference at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Schriever, Sept. 23, Bishop Fabre said, “I am humbled and excited by this appointment by the Holy Father, and I pledge to serve the needs of the Church here in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux to the very best of my ability. In all that we do, it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we praise and serve, and I am confident that together we will grow in faith. … I look forward to making the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux my new home, and I rejoice in the opportunity to become a part of this local Church and this unique area of our state of Louisiana. … At this point in the history of this wonderful diocese, let us renew our trust in the Lord and again pledge to serve him by serving one another. In God we place our hope and our trust, and we can be confident that God will never leave us to endure anything alone. I look forward to this faith journey with all of you. As I pledge my prayers for all in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, I ask your prayers for me as well.”

“Comfort my people” from Chapter 40, Verse 1 of the Book of Isaiah is Bishop Fabres episcopal motto, which he intends to keep. He says, “I chose that because I think there are many, many ways to give comfort. Life can hurt a lot sometimes and I think that is one of the roles of the Church – to comfort people not only by speaking the truth, but speaking the truth in love. That phrase has always spoken to me on many, many levels. I just love it.”

by Janet Marcel, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

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