Bishop Curtis John Guillory, S.V.D., a man of firsts
Bishop Curtis Guillory became the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont on July 28, 2000. Bishop Guillory has been guiding the Diocese longer than any of the previous bishops.
When he was installed as bishop of Beaumont he was the first member of a religious order to lead this diocese and the first ordinary in Texas who was African American. He is a member of the Society of the Divine Word.
Bishop Guillory is the diocese’s only bishop to have guided Southeast Texas through recovery from three major storms– Rita, Ike and Harvey.
Bishop Guillory received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Divine Word College, a Master’s of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union and a Master’s of Christian Spirituality from Creighton University. He has done advance work in Jungian psychology.
Curtis John Guillory was born to Wilfred and Theresa Guillory on September 1, 1943, in Mallet, Louisiana. He is the oldest of 16 children.
His father was a sharecropper. The children helped pick cotton and feed the animals. During the school year, Curtis would help work the farm before school and after – often working until dark.
He was ordained a priest in 1972 and a bishop on February 19, 1988. He served as auxiliary bishop for the then-Diocese of Galveston-Houston before coming to Beaumont.
He has served on the boards of Catholic Home Missions and the Catholic Relief Services as well as on the Diversity Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He currently serves on the boards of Xavier University in New Orleans, Catholic Extension, Gift of Life, IEA Inspire-Encourage-Achieve and Houseman Foundation. He is also the episcopal moderator for the Offices of African American Ministry in Region X.
Throughout his Beaumont episcopacy, Bishop Guillory has worked diligently to assure that the Church would continue to grow in Southeast Texas. With that in mind, he has increased ministry to youth and young adults, Hispanic ministry as well as stewardship formation and revitalized evangelization efforts.
Early in his episcopacy, Bishop Guillory established the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Beaumont and later initiated a capital campaign to guarantee that programs like youth ministry and religious education would be sustained into the future.
During his years as Bishop of Beaumont, St. Anthony Cathedral was designated a basilica, a chapel was built at Lamar University and a new Catholic Pastoral Center was erected.
Bishop Guillory has been proud of the diversity of Southeast Texas and encourages the celebration of that diversity especially through liturgy. He has worked tirelessly to promote peace, justice and inclusivity not only locally but also on the state level through his work as a member of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and throughout the world during his tenure on the board of Catholic Relief Services.
In January 2002, Bishop Guillory along with other Southeast Texas leaders issued a joint statement on a commitment to peace, “Lord, Make Us Instruments of Your Peace.” In 2016, Bishop Guillory received the Rabbi Samuel Rosinger Humanitarian Award presented by Temple Emanuel in Beaumont.