WASHINGTON (November 7, 2002) -- Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell of Lafayette, Louisiana and named Bishop Michael Jarrell of Houma-Thibodaux to succeed him.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
Michael Jarrell was born in Opelousas, Louisiana, May 15, 1940. He studied at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he earned an MA in 1963.
Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, on June 3, 1968, he was appointed Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux on December 29, 1992, and ordained March 4, 1993.
Edward J. O'Donnell was born July 4, 1931, in St. Louis. He studied at Kenrick Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis on April 6, 1957. He was named Titular Bishop of Britonia and Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, December 1, 1983. Appointed Bishop of Lafayette on November 8, 1994, he was installed December 16, 1994.
Established in 1918, the Diocese of Lafayette has 5,777 square miles and comprises seven counties in the south central part of the State of Louisiana. It has a Catholic population of approximately 331,000 in a total population of 568,000.