The Diocese of Tyler is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Bishop Charles E. Herzig Humanitarian Award.

The award is named in honor of Bishop Herzig who led the diocese from its creation in 1987 until his death in 1991.

The annual award was instituted in 2007 by Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, third Bishop of Tyler, to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions within the Diocese of Tyler in seeking to promote human welfare. Those who receive the award demonstrate a great charitable love for the people of God and possess a life in the Church that has been marked by actions that have enabled individuals or families to receive basic human care.

LUFKIN – Bishop Joseph E. Strickland celebrated Mass of Christian Burial for Deacon Billy D. Mitchell July 1 in St. Andrew Church in Lufkin.

Deacon Billy D. Mitchell, 1961-2017

Deacon Mitchell died June 28 in Lufkin. He was 55.

Rev. Mitchell was born Dec. 22, 1961 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Barbara (O’Briant) and Frank Mitchell, but lived in Lufkin most of his life. He was a Registered Nurse and worked for New Century Hospice.

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland will ordain Dr. Martin Ahiaba to the transitional diaconate Sunday, July 9, at 5 p.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Flint. Martin is currently studying for the priesthood at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He recently completed a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Duquesne University. All in the diocese are invited to join in this special day.

CHANDLER – Twenty years after its founding, Bishop Joseph E. Strickland raised St. Boniface Church in Chandler from a mission of St. Edward Church in Athens to a parish in its own right.

Bishop Strickland installs Father Paul Key as first pastor of St. Boniface Church at the June 25 Mass celebrating the former mission’s elevation to a parish.

Five parishes in the Diocese of Tyler will play host to a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima July 21-27.

The statue is one of six blessed by Pope Francis at the Vatican in January and commissioned to tour six of the seven continents to mark the 100th anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady of Fatima to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.