Pope Francis has named the pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, Reverend Monsignor (pronounced Mon-senior) Robert Coerver (pronounced curve-er), to serve as the new Bishop of Lubbock. The appointment was announced today in Washington, D.C. by the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, followed by the announcement in the Diocese of Lubbock.
With the appointment, Reverend Monsignor Coerver will become the third bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock. Monsignor Coerver says he was very surprised by the news but grateful to the Holy Father for his confidence in him. He says that while he looks forward to serving Lubbock, he will miss Dallas. “I was born and raised here in Dallas; my family roots are here and my ancestors were among Dallas’ first Catholics. I have developed so many fantastic relationships over the years and it will be difficult to have them take on a different nature. I have cherished my work among my brother priests and upon hearing of my appointment a slight pang of sadness came upon me. But, as a priest, I have always known that I must follow wherever the Lord leads me, and so when asked if I would accept the appointment I did so immediately because I have promised to serve wherever the Church needs me. I happily look forward to this new role as chief shepherd of the Catholic faithful in Lubbock and pray that God will assist me in leading the Catholic people there. I ask the prayers of the people of the Diocese of Dallas as I prepare to assume my new responsibilities.”
Expressing his support, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell said, “How wonderful that, once again, our Holy Father Pope Francis has chosen a priest of the Diocese of Dallas to serve the Church as a bishop. I am so happy I have the opportunity before I leave for Rome to congratulate Bishop-elect Bob Coerver on this honor and I applaud the decision of our Holy Father to appoint him to lead the Catholic Church in Lubbock. Bishop-elect Coerver’s extensive experience as a pastor in a large parish such as St. Rita, as well as his service on priest leadership boards and committees will be a tremendous asset in his new role. His keen theological insight and deep devotion to our Church, as well as an excellent pastoral manner, will serve him well as he leads his new diocese. I wish him many blessings in this new chapter of his ministry and I know he will be a tremendous blessing to the people of the Diocese of Lubbock.”
Bishop-elect Coerver was born in Dallas on June 6, 1954. He graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School in 1972 and the University of Dallas in 1976. He received his priestly formation at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving and received graduate degrees from North American College, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and Pontifical Gregorian University, all in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 27, 1980 and named a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in December 2004.
Bishop-elect Coerver has served at numerous parishes in the Diocese of Dallas, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and as pastor at Our Lady of the Lake in Rockwall, and since 2010 at St. Rita in North Dallas. He will be ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock at a special Mass of Ordination on November 21, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Christ the King Cathedral in Lubbock.