Bishop Joe S. Vásquez was named Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler by Pope Francis on Nov. 11, 2023.
Bishop Vásquez is the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Austin and was installed on March 8, 2010. In January 2002, Bishop Vásquez was installed as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Bishop Vásquez was born July 9, 1957, in Stamford, Texas to Juan and Elvira Vásquez. He is the eldest of six children with three brothers: Robert Vásquez, Samuel Vásquez, and James Vásquez; and two sisters: Cynthia Martínez and Consuelo Garza.
He attended Stamford and Abilene public schools and then studied theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston from 1976 to 1980. He attended the Gregorian University, North American College, in Rome from 1980 to 1985. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Angelo on June 30, 1984, by Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza.
In the Diocese of San Angelo he served as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Odessa from 1985 to 1987; as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Fort Stockton from 1987 to 1997; and as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in San Angelo from 1997 to 2002.
Bishop Vásquez was the Vicar General/Chancellor for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston overseeing the administrative operations of the largest diocese in Texas and the 11th largest diocese in the U.S. He also served as Episcopal Vicar for Hispanics and as the Liaison for Youth during his years in Galveston-Houston.
Bishop Vásquez currently serves as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and as Lead Bishop for Region X for the V National Encounter for Hispanic/Latino Ministry (V Encuentro). He has previously served on the following committees of the USCCB: Chair, Committee on Migration; Administrative Committee; and Committee for Religious Liberty; and as a consultant to the Committee on International Justice and Peace, the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs; and the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).
Former Bishops of the Diocese of Tyler
Bishop Charles Herzig
The first Bishop of Tyler was Charles E. Herzig who was ordained concurrently with the erection of the diocese on Feb. 24, 1987. Bishop Herzig laid the foundations for the growth of the diocese. After a battle with lung cancer, he died in office on Sept. 7, 1991, and is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler.
Bishop Edmond Carmody
On March 24, 1992, Edmond Carmody, auxiliary bishop of San Antonio, was appointed Bishop of Tyler and was installed on May 25 of the same year. Bishop Carmody oversaw a significant expansion of parishes and led the diocese until March 17, 2000, when he was installed as Bishop of Corpus Christi.
Bishop Alvaro Corrada
In December of 2000, Alvaro Corrada del Rio, SJ, at the time auxiliary bishop of Washington and Apostolic Administrator of Caguas in Puerto Rico, was named Bishop of Tyler; he was installed on Jan. 30, 2001. Bishop Corrada was transferred to the Diocese of Mayagüez in Puerto Rico, on July 6, 2011 and installed on Sept. 12.
Bishop Joseph Strickland
In September of 2012, Msgr. Joseph Strickland, a priest of Tyler who had previously served as Judicial Vicar and Vicar General, was named the fourth Bishop of Tyler. He was consecrated as bishop on Nov. 28, 2012, and served until Nov. 11, 2023.