Passing of Bishop Sheltz: Legacy of Serving the Church

December 21, 2021

Funeral arrangements for Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz:

Visitation and Vigil - Thursday, December 30, 2021
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
6:00 p.m. Visitation
7:00 p.m. Vigil: Bishop Italo Dell'Oro presiding

Mass of Christian Burial - Friday, December 31, 2021, at 1:30 p.m.
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Cardinal DiNardo: Main Celebrant
Father Jeff Bame: Homilist

The burial follows at Forest Park Lawndale cemetery.

Additional parking - Amegy Bank will make 250-300 parking places available in their new garage on the evening of the vigil and the day of the funeral.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following entities:

It is with deep sorrow the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston reports that retired Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz, 75, passed away Dec. 21, 2021. A native Houstonian, Bishop Sheltz dedicated his life to the Lord for more than 50 years as a priest in his home diocese.

“There is real sadness for us at the death of Bishop Sheltz,” Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said. “He was such a kind and generous man, a faithful priest. Whenever I asked him to do anything, he always said ‘yes’ and did so cheerfully. He was a great model of a diocesan priest, conscientious. He mirrored Christ very much.”

As a priest of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Bishop Sheltz served at six parishes: Assumption Church; Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral; St. Vincent de Paul Church; Christ the Redeemer Church; Prince of Peace Church; and St. Anthony of Padua Church in The Woodlands. He served as Dean of the San Jacinto Deanery and Episcopal Vicar of the Northern Vicariate while a parish priest. In 2000, Pope John Paul II named him a prelate of honor, with the title of Monsignor.

In 2007, Bishop Sheltz was named secretariat director for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services. Since 2010, he served as vicar general, chancellor and moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, overseeing the administrative operations of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the fifth-largest in the United States.

On Feb. 21, 2012, he was named an auxiliary bishop of Galveston-Houston by Pope Benedict XVI.

When asked in 2012 to discuss his aspirations when serving as bishop, Bishop Sheltz said, "I hope I will continue to be a good representative of the priesthood. I hope that I will be a good preacher of the life of Jesus Christ through my life and actions. I hope I will help others continue to grow in their faith."

Pope Francis accepted Bishop Sheltz's resignation on June 22 at the age of 75.

Auxiliary Bishop Italo Dell'Oro, CRS, who succeeded Bishop Sheltz’s position when he retired, said that hope was realized in a life dedicated to faithful service.

"Bishop George was a good man and a good and humble priest. And he was a bishop," Bishop Dell'Oro said. "With great humility, George trusted that God had chosen him and served Him faithfully even through undue suffering until his death. Now, I trust that he is in God's peaceful embrace."

George Arthur Sheltz was born April 20, 1946, in Houston, Texas, to (the late) George and Margaret Sheltz. The second oldest of three children, he was raised in Houston and educated entirely in the Bayou City, attending Annunciation Catholic School in downtown Houston, St. Thomas High School, the University of St. Thomas and St. Mary's Seminary.

During high school, he began to consider the possibility of studying for the priesthood for the then-Diocese of Galveston-Houston. With the encouragement of the Basilian Fathers at St. Thomas High School, he entered St. Mary's Seminary. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and from the seminary with a Master's in Theology.

On May 15, 1971, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Galveston-Houston by Bishop John Morkovsky.

“The Archdiocese lost a fully dedicated and wonderful priest in the death of Bishop Sheltz,” Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza said. “He was a friend to all who knew him and ready to help those in need of his priestly ministry, and always offered good advice to those seeking his help. I will miss him as a good and steady friend.”

Bishop Sheltz came from a family of Houston vocations. His father, Deacon George Sheltz Sr., was in the first class of permanent deacons ordained for the diocese in 1972. His late brother, Anton Sheltz, was ordained a priest for the then-Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1976. His uncle, Monsignor Anton Frank, was the first native Houstonian ordained for the diocese in 1933.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and the Archdiocese asks the faithful to pray for the family of Bishop Sheltz and his eternal rest.