Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler:

Pope Francis appointed me as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler on November 11, 2023. I accept the Holy Father’s trust in me and ask for your prayers as I take on this additional responsibility.

As I continue my ministry as Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, over the next few weeks I will travel to the Diocese of Tyler to be present to you – the clergy, religious, diocesan staff and lay faithful of the diocese.  I am grateful to the staff of the Diocese of Tyler with whom I will collaborate during this transition and interim period. I look forward to meeting you and come with a desire to listen and understand the particular needs of the Diocese of Tyler.

Know that I am praying for you. I ask that you join me in prayer for the Holy Father as he discerns the next bishop of the Diocese of Tyler.  In a special way, we ask for the intercession of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the Diocese of Tyler.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez
Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler

Questions and Answers

What is an Apostolic Administrator?

An Apostolic Administrator is a bishop, usually from a nearby or neighboring diocese, appointed by the Holy Father to oversee the daily life of a diocese that is temporarily without a bishop. He does this while continuing to be the bishop of his own diocese.

Does this mean that Bishop Vásquez is no longer the Bishop of Austin?

No. Bishop Vásquez remains Bishop of Austin during this time of transition in the Diocese of Tyler.

How long will it take to appoint a new Bishop of Tyler?

There is no prescribed time. Pope Francis will discern through prayer and consultation and announce the new bishop when he has made his choice.

What will happen to Bishop Strickland?

Bishop Strickland remains a bishop in the Catholic Church, but he no longer serves as the Bishop of Tyler.  Please continue to pray for him.