Ordination ceremony set for today
Hundreds of Catholic clergy from across the United States will attend the ordination ceremony for the newest bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, Joseph Strickland, at 2 p.m. today at Caldwell Auditorium.
Strickland will be ordained as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, making him the first East Texas native to serve as Bishop of the 25-year-old diocese.
"It is unusual, although not unheard of (for someone from within the diocese to be selected as bishop)," Strickland said in an interview in October.
The ceremony will be televised live on CBS 19.
All bishops are named by the Pope. The announcement was made in Washington Sept. 29 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-designate Strickland, 54, succeeds Bishop lvaro Corrada, SJ, who was named bishop of Mayag￼ez, Puerto Rico, in 2011 after heading the Tyler Diocese for more than a decade.
Strickland was born Oct. 31, 1958, in Fredericksburg, Texas, to Raymond and Monica Strickland, but the family moved to Texarkana in 1959 and then to Atlanta in 1963, according to a news release from the diocese. The Stricklands were founding members of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Atlanta, and Strickland was an altar server.
He graduated from Atlanta High School in 1977 and entered Holy Trinity Seminary and the University of Dallas in Irving. He received a bachelor's in philosophy in 1981 and continued his seminary studies.
He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Dallas in 1985 and was assigned as parochial vicar at what was then the Immaculate Conception Church in Tyler.
In 1987, when the Diocese of Tyler was created from the Dioceses of Dallas, Beaumont and Galveston-Houston, Strickland became a priest of the Tyler Diocese. He was named director of vocations.
In 1992, he entered the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to study canon law, the law which governs the Catholic Church. He received his licentiate in canon law in May 1994 and was named rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler. He was appointed judicial vicar for the Tyler Diocese by Bishop Edmond Carmody in 1995.
In 1996, Pope John Paul II named him a prelate of honor with the title of monsignor.
He also has served in parishes in Mount Pleasant and Nacogdoches. When Bishop Carmody was transferred to the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 2000, Strickland was elected administrator of the Tyler Diocese by fellow priests serving as consultors. He served in that position until Bishop Corrada was installed as third bishop of the diocese in January 2001.
Bishop Corrada named Strickland vicar general of the diocese, and he served in that post until Bishop Corrada's transfer to the Diocese of Mayag￼ez, Puerto Rico, in July 2011. Bishop Corrada was made apostolic administrator of the Tyler Diocese until a successor could be named, and Strickland served as delegate of the apostolic administrator.