WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father Gary W. Janak, vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Bishop-designate Janak also is the rector of the Cathedral Our Lady of Victory in Victoria. A native of Texas, the bishop-designate, 58, was ordained as a Victoria diocesan priest May 14, 1988.
The appointment was announced in Washington Feb. 15 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio.
The San Antonio Archdiocese is headed by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller. The diocese also is served by Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Boulette.
Janak, who speaks English and Spanish, has been chancellor since 2012 and vicar general since 2015.He has been cathedral rector since 2013. He served as Victoria’s diocesan administrator from April 23, 2015, when Victoria Bishop David E. Fellhauer retired at 75, to June 29, 2015, when Bishop Brendan J. Cahill was ordained and installed to succeed Bishop Fellhauer.
He was born March 22, 1962, in El Campo, Texas, and raised in Palacios, Texas. After graduating from Palacios High School in 1980, he attended Wharton Junior College and the University of Texas in Austin, 1980-1982. He then went to the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1983. He studied at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, 1983-1988, where he earned a master’s degree in divinity.
Janak also has a canon law degree from The Catholic University of American in Washington and a master’s of education in counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria and also is licensed by the state of Texas as a professional counselor. He specializes in couples therapy, grief counseling, stress and anger management issues and individual counseling for depression and anxiety.
He also is executive director of the Emmaus Center in Victoria and a counselor at the bilingual center, which provides individual, marital and family counseling services from a Catholic perspective.
After his ordination as a priest, he served in parishes in Victoria, Yoakum, El Campo, Nada and New Taiton, Texas.
Among other positions he has held in the Victoria Diocese, Janak has been director of the permanent diaconate program, 1990-1995; vocation director/director of seminarians, 1990-1996, diocesan co-coordinator of pastoral care and outreach, 2004-2016; and vicar of the El Campo Deanery, 2007-2013.
He’s currently a judge and advocate on the Victoria diocesan marriage tribunal and a member of the diocesan review board, the college of consultors, the priests’ council, the priest personnel board and the diocesan finance board.