bishopseitzportraitOn May 6, 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis named Auxiliary Bishop Mark J. Seitz, D.D. of Dallas as the sixth Bishop of El Paso to succeed Bishop Armando X. Ochoa who was installed as the Bishop of Fresno in February 2012. Bishop Seitz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 10, 1954, the oldest of 10 children. Wanting to be a priest from early childhood, Bishop Seitz remembers that when he was eight years old, “I woke up in a thoughtful mood and began to reflect about what I wanted to be.” Like many little boys, he thought about being a fireman, a doctor or… a priest, or perhaps all three. “But then I thought if I were a fireman or doctor, I could save people but they were still going to die. If I were a priest I could save people so they could live forever,” he says.

Bishop Seitz began his priestly formation in 1972 at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Dallas on May 17, 1980. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy, a Master’s Degree in Divinity and a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from the University of Dallas. In 1985, Bishop Seitz received a Master’s Degree in Liturgical Studies from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. In 2004, Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor. On March 11, 2010, Bishop Seitz was named Auxiliary Bishop of Dallas and took as his motto, “Paratum cor meum” – My heart is ready.

Bishop Seitz served as Parochial Vicar at Good Shepherd Parish from 1980-1984, Adjunct Professor at the University of Dallas from 1985-1994, Spiritual Director at Holy Trinity Seminary in 1986 and 1987, Vice-Rector at Holy Trinity Seminary from 1987 to 1993, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Waxahachie from 1993 to 2003, Pastor of St. Rita Parish in Dallas from 2003 to 2010, and Pastor of All Saints Parish in Dallas from 2010 to 2013. In 2009, Monsignor Seitz gave a gift of life by donating a kidney to one of his parishioners at St. Rita Parish. “We follow the model of one who literally gave his life for us. If he can lay down his life, I can give away a kidney,” explains Bishop Seitz.

In the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Seitz served on the diocesan Liturgical Commission, the Committee for the Continuing Education of Priests, the Presbyteral Council, and the College of Consultors. He also served as the Spiritual Director of the White Rose Women’s Center and on the Board of Directors of the BirthChoice Catholic Crisis Pregnancy Center in Dallas. He was the Spiritual Advisor to DFW Courage, a ministry to those who struggle with same-sex attractions, from 1998 until 2010. At the national level, Bishop Seitz serves on the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reflecting on his appointment as the new Bishop of El Paso, Bishop Seitz stated, “I accept this call as a new opportunity to follow the Good Shepherd and, with His help, to be one.”

3 responses to About

  1. Santiago Villagran

    A rather late welcome but nonetheless, welcome to El Paso Bishop Seitz! It is a great honor for the people of this Diocese to be guided under your direction. I personally will be praying for you so that the Holy Spirit may grant you courage, wisdom, and strength to continue being a disciple of Christ and to lead this wonderful city in a loving and humble way. God bless you always and please continue being an instrument of peace!


  2. Leona Fagan

    Heard Bishop Seitz on ABC’s Sunday Morning show today. His reaction to questions about the influx of so many children on our southern border was truly inspiring. It was so refreshing to hear someone from the hierarchy describe the situation with compassion and empathy. Bishop Seitz should be joined by other bishops in support of these desperate people.

  3. Mike Nicholson

    I understand that current law guarantees an immigration hearing for minors from non-contiguous countries. Until that law is modified, and for those that are already here under the current law, we have the obligation of providing safe living quarters, nutrition and health care while awaiting hearing. That’s humane, that’s American, and the administration is right in seeking funds for this purpose.

    Let’s use these funds appropriately. We should immediately enter into agreements with the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, providing financial aid and expertise to construct dormitories, together with assistance and training to ensure the security and safety for those awaiting their court dates in the US. To provide immediate shelter while permanent housing is in construction, our military can establish secure camps, as they are fully equipped and trained (at public expense) to do. The Air Guard can run a daily courier service to transport the children for their hearing, putting to use already-committed aircraft and pilot time required to maintain flight qualification. Qualified family members, specifically approved by residents, are permitted in a common area to aid, feed if they choose, and comfort their loved ones. Residents, provided documents, are free to come and go, either for excursion or repatriation.

    On the one hand, I could be surprised not to have heard this solution advanced. On the other hand, since it represents a “win” for everybody but the cartels, it would disarm those committed to using any issue to bludgeon the opposition and would be unacceptable to some for that reason. But it’s the right thing to do. Shouldn’t we give it a try?

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