Austin's vicar general named auxiliary bishop of the Texas diocese

Fr. Daniel Garcia in 2013 (CNS/Austin diocese/Courtesy of Catholic Spirit)

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Daniel Garcia, the vicar general of the diocese of Austin, Texas, as an auxiliary bishop of the diocese.

Garcia, 54, is an Austin diocesan priest and also is moderator of the curia.

The appointment was announced Wednesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The newly named auxiliary bishop will assist Bishop Joe Vasquez, who has headed the Austin diocese since 2010.

His episcopal ordination is scheduled for March 3.

Vasquez appointed Garcia as vicar general and moderator of the curia in March 2014. Before that, he was founding pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin, and from 1995 until 2014, he led that parish from its inception through multiple building projects.

Over the years, Garcia has served in a variety of roles in the Austin diocese, including as vocation director and master of ceremonies for the bishop.

He has served on various diocesan committees, was a member of the diocesan vocation team, liturgical commission, diaconal advisory committee, priests' council, college of consultors and priests' personnel board. He also has served as chair of the priests' council and as dean of Austin's north deanery.

Garcia was ordained as a priest for the diocese of Austin May 28, 1988, by Bishop John McCarthy, who headed the diocese from 1985 to 2001.

Garcia's first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Austin, followed by Cristo Rey Parish in Austin and St. Louis King of France Parish in Austin. He briefly served at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Humble in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese.

Born Aug. 30, 1960, he is the eldest of four children of Daniel Castilleja Garcia Jr. and the late Sarah Munoz Garcia. He grew up in Cameron.

He earned an associate of arts degree from Tyler Junior College in 1982. He earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy from St. Mary's Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Houston in 1984 and earned a master's of divinity from the same university in 1988. He earned a master's of arts in liturgical studies in 2007 from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn.

Garcia is bilingual in Spanish and English.

The 21,000-square-mile diocese covers 25 counties in central Texas. It has a total population of more than 2.9 million people; about 549,000, or 18 percent, are Catholic.

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