SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — The new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Angelo on Monday described his new job as "awesome, kind of scary, and exciting."
The Rev. Michael Sis was ordained as the sixth bishop of San Angelo during a three-hour ceremony in the West Texas city.
During the ceremony, Sis conveyed a message of gratitude, prayer and hope to the congregation, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported Monday.
Sis replaces Michael Pfeifer, who retired Dec. 12 following more than 28 years of service in the diocese.
"Today is the first day of the future that God wants to work in our lives together here," Sis said. "Tomorrow, we get to work and we move forward together, each one of us doing our part to write the next chapter in the beautiful history of the church and this diocese."
Sis is a 54-year-old Mount Holly, N.J., native who was ordained as a priest in Austin in 1986 and has served numerous parishes in Austin and College Station. Before being named to his new position, Sis had served as the vicar general of the Austin Catholic diocese since 2010.
The San Angelo diocese covers more than 29 West Texas counties. More than 77,000 of its 860,000 residents are Catholic.
At a news conference earlier Monday, Sis said his first job as bishop will be to meet people, understand their needs and walk with them through their joys and pains.
"Before proposing solutions or great programs, what I first need to do is listen and build people's trust in me," Sis said. "I'm the new kid on the block. In order to have any success in any program, you first need to build respect and earn people's trust, and that takes some time."
Information from: Standard-Times, http://www.sanangelostandardtimes.com