For the first time in 25 years, the Diocese of Victoria has a new bishop. On Monday, June 29, 2015, Most Reverend Brendan John Cahill was ordained to the Episcopacy. He succeeds Bishop Emeritus David Fellhauer, who shepherded the diocese from April 7, 1990, until his retirement earlier this year. Bishop Cahill will lead fifty parishes and 103,428 Catholics located across ten counties in the Diocese of Victoria.
An overflow crowd of more than 1,200 people packed Victoria’s Our Lady of Victory Cathedral for the three hour Ordination and Installation Mass. His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston anointed Bishop Cahill’s head with oil, and then presented him with a ring and a crosier to consecrate him into his new role.
Galveston-Houston Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza and Bishop Emeritus David Fellhauer assisted Cardinal DiNardo as co-consecrators. Several other bishops laid hands on Bishop Cahill to signify his ordination as a collegial act of the Order of Bishops, incorporating him as a new member of their community for the service of the Church.
Pope Francis appointed Brendan Cahill as Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria through an Apostolic Letter on April 23, 2015. The official announcement was made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United States, after the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Emeritus David Fellhauer, having reached the Church’s required retirement age of 75.
Bishop Cahill, 51, most recently served for five years as the director of the Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Since his ordination in 1990, he held several prominent positions within the Archdiocese. He was parichial vicar for St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church from 1990 to 1992, and Christ the Good Shepherd Parish from 1992 to 1994.
Bishop Cahill received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of divinity from the University of St. Thomas in Houston in 1985 and 1990, respectively. He earned a master’s of theology from Xavier University in New Orleans, with specialization in African-American studies in 1994.
From there, he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a licentiate degree in dogmatic theology in 1996 and a doctorate in fundamental theology in 1999. Bishop Cahill then returned to Houston to serve on the formation faculty and later as rector of St. Mary’s Seminary until 2010.
At the conclusion of his Mass of Ordination and Installation, Bishop Cahill asked all of those present and watching on EWTN’s national television broadcast for their spiritual support, "Today I pledge my love to you, and I ask for your prayers that I may be a merciful shepherd, bringing each of us closer in heart to the good shepherd, Jesus Christ.”