Congratulations to His Excellency, Bishop Farrell. May God provide him with wisdom, and may the Bishop provide lots of TLMs.
On Tuesday, Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell replaced retiring Bishop Charles Grahmann as bishop of the Dallas Diocese.
Mike Seibold, parish director for St. Gabriel the Archangel, said he is confident that Bishop Farrell was the right choice to replace Grahmann.
“I feel very good about it,” Seibold said. “The new bishop sounds like he is more than qualified to lead a very large diocese, such as ours.”
Prior to this, Farrell had served as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and has worked with Hispanics in the past.
There are about one million members of the Dallas Diocese, many of them Hispanic. Seibold said Farrell, who speaks fluent Italian and Spanish, would be an asset to the diverse population of the Dallas area.
Seibold said the 59-year-old Farrell is also younger than the traditional bishop. On average, Seibold estimates most bishops are in their mid- to late 60s.
“As a bishop, I would say he is relatively young,” Seibold said. “I would expect to see a high energy level from him.”
The Rev. Greg Kelly, St. Gabriel the Archangel pastor, said he expects to see some changes with Farrell as bishop.
“We'll expect some changes,” Kelly said. “We just don't know what they are.”
Bishop Grahmann, Kelly said, has done a lot for the diocese in his 17 years, particularly for its Spanish-speaking members.
“The diocese has grown a lot under him,” Kelly said. “He's done a lot for them.”
Seibold said Grahmann didn't just support the Spanish-speaking members but also was supportive of other ethnic groups.
“He's been supportive of the immigrants coming into the area,” Seibold said. “He's been supportive of the minority population.”
Seibold also commends Grahmann for his work with the poor and less-than-fortunate people.
“I think another highlight is the wonderful support he provided to the poor and the marginalized,” Seibold said.
Grahmann's tenure was also marked by scandals such as sex abuse. Seibold said he thinks Grahmann did an excellent job of leading the people through those times.
“I think he was an outstanding leader with challenges he was able to meet and overcome,” Seibold said. “He met those challenges and I think he served well.”
While Seibold and other members are sad to see Grahmann retire, he said Grahmann, who retired at the age of 75, the mandatory retirement age, is looking forward to retirement.
“I know he's very excited about his retirement,” Seibold said.
Kelly said he doesn't know much about Farrell or previous work he has done but said he anticipates the new bishop will be different from Grahmann.
“This opens up a new era,” he said.