DALLAS - The Roman Catholic Bishop of Dallas will move to Rome soon to take a new job at the Vatican.
Bishop Kevin Farrell was appointed by Pope Francis to lead a new department called the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, which will focus on the care of families.
In a statement, Bishop Farrell said he is extremely humbled by the selection and “grateful for the Holy Father’s confidence in me.” He also said he’ll miss Dallas, a place he’s called home for the past 10 years.
In his decade leading North Texas Catholics, they've gone from about 950,000 to 1.3 million -- much of that growth in Collin County.
Bishop Farrell has been outspoken in his tenure, notably reaching out to the family of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan and becoming a prominent figure at pro-life marches.
At the Vatican, Bishop Farrell will head a new mega department over laity, family and life.
“From the beginning, I quickly grew to love the beautiful people and culture here. The strong faith, kindness and generosity of the people in the Diocese of Dallas surpassed all of my expectations,” he said.
Bishop Greg Kelly will lead the Diocese of Dallas until the pope can select a replacement for Farrell.
“I cannot express enough my gratitude for all that the priests, staff and people have done and continue to do for me and the Diocese of Dallas. I know our Holy Father is working, as we speak, to find the right man to serve as the new chief shepherd,” he said.