Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Edward J. Burns to serve as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas. The much anticipated appointment was announced today, December 13, 2016 in Washington, D.C. by the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. Bishop Burns, the new Chief Shepherd of the 1.3 million Catholics in the Dallas diocese, succeeds Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who left Dallas for Rome on October 1 after the Pope appointed him the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Bishop Burns will be introduced and speak to the media at a news conference on Tuesday, December 13th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Dallas. View live stream coverage at www.cathdal.org/video.
Since 2009, Bishop Burns has served as the Bishop of Juneau, Alaska. Prior to that, the 59-year-old bishop served the Catholic Church on the national level as Executive Director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. from 1999 -2008. In 2008 he was named the Rector of St. Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. In January 2009, he was named the Bishop of Juneau. Prior to 1999, Bishop Burns served in parish ministry, diocesan administration and did extensive work in vocations.
The new Bishop of Dallas says he is looking forward to his appointment, “I am extremely happy and humbled that Pope Francis has chosen me to lead such an important diocese and I look forward to serving the local Church of the Diocese of Dallas. I am profoundly grateful for my experience in Juneau and I pray for God’s grace as I take on my new duties as Chief Shepherd of this ever-growing Diocese of Dallas.” The new Bishop-designate also stressed that “I look forward to listening and learning all that I can about this beautifully diverse Catholic community and I want to assure all in the Diocese of Dallas that I will be a shepherd for all people.”
Bishop Greg Kelly, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dallas, said “I appreciate Bishop Burns’ great energy and enthusiasm about his new assignment here and we are very grateful that our Holy Father has sent us a Chief Shepherd so quickly. I enjoyed working closely with Cardinal Kevin Farrell and I now look forward to doing all that I can to assist Bishop Burns in continuing to build up the Catholic Church in the Dallas area.”
Bishop Burns was born on October 7, 1957, in Pittsburgh, PA. to Geraldine Little Burns and the late Donald P. Burns. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh on June 25, 1983. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Burns to be the fifth Bishop of Juneau in January 2009. He was ordained as a Bishop on March 3, 2009, in Pittsburgh, PA, and took possession of the Diocese of Juneau a month later.
Since becoming Bishop of Juneau, Bishop Burns has been an active member of the USCCB, the Northwest Regional Bishops Conference, the Alaska Catholic Conference of Bishops, and travels widely as a speaker and facilitator. He currently serves as Chairman of the USCCB Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, a member of the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, and serves on the Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors. Bishop Burns has been a frequent Bishop Catechist at World Youth Day events and a presenter at convocations, conventions and retreats nationwide.
Bishop Burns will be installed as the Bishop of Dallas on February 9, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, located at 2215 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas. Bishop Burns has called for a special Holy Hour tonight, Tuesday, December 13th, at St. Rita Catholic Church at 12521 Inwood Road in Dallas at 7 p.m. to mark this momentous time in the local Catholic Church and to provide an opportunity to join him in prayer for the future of the Diocese of Dallas.