Welcome Bishop David L. Toups to Southeast Texas!
“In the middle of a pandemic, racial tension, protests, economic downturn and at the start of hurricane season, I am like the angels at Our Lord’s birth bringing good news to the shepherds.… We now have a Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Beaumont.”
It was with those words that Bishop Curtis Guillory, S.V.D., began his introduction of Bishop-elect David L. Toups to Southeast Texas.
Pope Francis named Msgr. David L. Toups as the sixth bishop for the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, on June 9, 2020. Later that same morning, Bishop Guillory made the long awaited announcement to the faithful through a live-stream from St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica and to an audience of priests from the diocese and local media.
Bishop-elect Toups has responded with equal excitement to the news. “It is with great joy that I embark on this great journey with the faithful of the Diocese of Beaumont. I am truly humbled and honored to have been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as your sixth bishop.”
Bishop-elect Toups, who grew up in Houma, Louisiana, is currently serving as Rector/President for St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida
Bishop-elect Toups has chosen Romans 8:28 as his motto. “For those who love God, all things work together for good.” Although it was his mother’s favorite scripture, it is an unusual choice since Bishop-elect Toups will be sharing that motto with Bishop Guillory, the man who will be his predecessor.
Bishop-elect Toups says he made that decision with the permission of Bishop Guillory. “It (Romans 8:28) has guided me for 49 years and it has guided your diocese for the past twenty. Continuity is good.”
Bishop-elect Toups is the youngest of three children and spent most of his youth in Houma, Louisiana. His family relocated to Clearwater, Florida, when he was a junior in high school. He graduated from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami. His theological studies were pursued at the Pontifical North American College in Rome while attending the Pontifical Gregorian University.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1997, for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. He has served as both a pastor and a professor for seminarians as well as serving for several years in Washington with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prior to becoming rector at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary.
He is an international presenter and accomplished writer authoring two books: Reclaiming Our Priestly Character and The Priests We Need: A Rector Speaks to His Seminarians. He speaks both Spanish and Italian.
Bishop-elect Toups says he and the diocese are blessed that Bishop Guillory will remain in Beaumont as Bishop Emeritus. “From the first moment we spoke on the phone, I could tell how fortunate I was to be building on the legacy that he has forged these past 20 years of laboring with you in the vineyard of the Lord.”
“Following Bishop Guillory’s lead all these years, I desire to journey with the African American community in peacefully conquering the sins of racism and injustice. May this moment in American history bring an end to intolerance and violence once and for all,” Bishop-elect Toups said.
As required by canon law, on his 75th birthday in September 2018, Bishop Guillory tendered his resignation indicating his retirement to Pope Francis. The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Guillory Apostolic Administrator which means he will continue to govern the diocese until the new Bishop takes possession on August 21.
Bishop-elect Toups is scheduled to meet with the deacons of the diocese followed by a meeting of pastoral staff and other leadership before returning to Florida to await his ordination.