– 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 reins.
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 November 19 at the Vatican.
Burns, 59, has been Bishop of Juneau, Alaska since 2009, and will be installed in Dallas on February 9, 2017, at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a December 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,” Burns said in a statement announcing 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 people.”
Burns was born in Pittsburgh, Penn. on October 7, 1957, and ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh June 25, 1983. He was appointed bishop of Juneau by Benedict XVI in January 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 Services.
To mark his appointment, Burns has asked that a special Holy Hour be held in Dallas on December 13 for the diocese, as well as to provide an opportunity for people to join him in prayer for their the future.