EXCLUSIVE: Bishop-elect Robert Coerver says papal appointment 's

EXCLUSIVE: Bishop-elect Robert Coerver says papal appointment 'surreal'

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LUBBOCK -

He is packing his bags and heading on a new spiritual calling. Monsignor Robert Coerver will soon make West Texas his home.  He was recently named the bishop-elect for the Diocese of Lubbock.

"The word I'm using ever since I received the call from the Pope's representative is surreal," he said.

Coerver is a life-long Catholic. 

"Growing up two doors from the parish church in east Dallas, and attending church all the time being very actively involved in the church and the Catholic schools," he said.

He's also been a priest for 36 years, something he said will help him transition into his new role.

"Well I have never done it before, so I have some apprehension, more about the role, but certainly not coming to Lubbock," he said. "I'm excited about it."

Coerver has a big task. The Diocese of Lubbock includes 25 counties with about 136,000 Catholics.

"A priest is universally similar," he said. "Of course every diocese, every area of the U.S., of the world has its own unique aspects."

His first task is simple.

"I think it is going to be to listen, to listen, to observe, to watch," he said. "I do look forward, especially, to working with the Catholic Student Center and St. Elizabeth University Parish close to Texas Tech."

Pope Francis is known for his humility and simplicity, something the bishop-elect said he can relate to.

"I'm going to do my best to be myself, because I am a simple homespun kind of person that to me equates to humility," Coerver said. "This is not about me. This is all about the kingdom of God, and specifically the church of Lubbock, and when I say the church of Lubbock, of course, I mean the entire 25 county expanse of the diocese."

Coerver said he needs prayers from everyone.  

"I'm very eager to hit the ground running, and get to know the place," he said. "I'm a foodie, so I'm looking forward to trying some of the restaurants."

Coerver will be ordained as bishop at the Mass of Ordination Nov. 21 at Christ the King Cathedral. For updates click here

He will become the third bishop for the Diocese of Lubbock. He replaces retiring Bishop Plácido Rodríguez, who has lead the diocese for more than 20 years.

                         

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