Pope Accepts Resignation Of Amarillo Bishop John Yanta, Names San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Zurek To Succeed Him |
WASHINGTON-Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop John W. Yanta, 76, as bishop of Amarillo, Texas, and named San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, 59, to succeed him.
The resignation acceptance and the appointment were announced in Washington, January 3, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Zurek, a native of Wallis, Texas, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Austin, Texas, in 1975. He was ordained a bishop in 1998.
Patrick Zurek was born on August 17, 1948. He attended local elementary and secondary schools and received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry from the University of Houston. He also attended the Seminary of St. Mary, studying philosophy at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, and the North American College, Rome, studying theology at the Angelicum University. Subsequently he earned a licentiate in moral theology at the Alphonsian Academy, Rome.
After several parochial assignments, Bishop Zurek served as pastor of St. Thomas Church, College Station, Texas, and pastor of St. John Neumann Church, Austin, and as diocesan director of vocations. He also served as vice president and president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors.
As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Zurek served on the Committee on the North American College and the Ad Hoc Committee for the Spanish Language Bible.
The Amarillo Diocese has 26 counties and 25,800 square miles, and includes the part of Texas known as the Panhandle. The total population of the diocese is estimated at 422,428 people, with 41,692 of them Catholic.