After what was a very short vacancy for the Diocese of Dallas, the Vatican announced Tuesday that Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau will now take the reigns.
He will replace Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who led the Dallas Diocese
since 2007, but in September moved to Rome as the new head of the
Vatican dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
Farrell was also one of three US bishops appointed cardinal during
the latest Consistory, which took place Nov. 19 at the Vatican.
Burns, 59, has been Bishop of Juneau, Alaska since 2009, and will be
installed in Dallas Feb. 9, 2017, at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin
of Guadalupe, a Dec. 13 Vatican communique said.
“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,” Bishop Burns said in a statement
announcement his appointment.
“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,” he said.
The bishop said he looks 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
Burns was born in Pittsburgh, Penn. Oct. 7, 1957, and ordained a priest
for the Diocese of Pittsburgh June 25, 1983. He was appointed bishop of
Juneau by Benedict XVI in Jan. 2009, and ordained a bishop March 3 of
that year. He was given the title of Monsignor in 2006.
During his priesthood, in addition to serving in parishes, the
now-bishop was also Rector of the Seminary and Diocesan Director for the
permanent diaconate and for the permanent formation for the clergy in
1996 and Diocesan Director of the Clergy Personnel from 1997-1999.
He served as Executive Director of the USCCB Office for the Clergy,
Consecrated Life and Vocations from 1999-2008 and was Rector of St. Paul
Seminary in Pittsburgh from 2008 until his appointment as bishop of
Juneau in 2009.
Since becoming a bishop, Burns has traveled throughout the US as a
speaker and facilitator at various conventions and retreats. He has also
been a frequent Bishop Catechist at World Youth Day events. He speaks
both English and Spanish.
He has continued to be an active member of the USCCB, currently serving
as Chairman of the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young
People. He is also a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home
Missions and serves on the Board of Directors for Catholic Relief
To mark his appointment, Burns has asked that a special Holy Hour be
held in Dallas Dec. 13 for the diocese, as well as to provide an
opportunity for people to join him in prayer for their the future.