Pope Benedict XVI has named Auxiliary Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to serve as the fifth Bishop of Austin.
The announcement was made on Tuesday morning at the Vatican. Vasquez will be installed as Bishop of Austin on March 8.
In Jan. 23, 2002, Vasquez, 52, became the youngest active bishop in the U.S. at the age of 44 when he was ordained as auxiliary for Galveston-Houston.
Before his ordination as auxiliary bishop, Vasquez served as a priest for the Diocese of San Angelo. He was ordained as a priest in 1984.
"I wish to thank Pope Benedict XVI for the confidence he has placed in me in naming me shepherd of the Diocese of Austin. I also offer prayers of gratitude this day for Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza and the priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese for forming me as a bishop. Most of all, I give thanks to God for the gift of priesthood, which has brought me such joy for 25 years. I trust in the Holy Spirit to enlighten me for this next step in my journey," said Auxiliary Bishop Vasquez.
A native of Stamford, Texas, Vasquez was very familiar with the Houston area long before his installation as auxiliary bishop. He received his bachelors degree in Houston when he graduated from University of St. Thomas and studied at St. Mary's Seminary.
Vasquez will succeed Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who left the Diocese of Austin in June 2009 to be installed as the Archbishop of New Orleans.