Friends of Bishop-elect Sheltz share wishes, reminiscences from the heart

April 24, 2012

HOUSTON — Over the last four decades, Bishop Sheltz has crossed paths with countless Catholics across the Archdiocese, from parishioners to friends to colleagues at the many places he has worked and served. Those who know him well report that underneath his seemingly unflappable exterior, Bishop Sheltz is a man with one of the warmest, most charitable and loyal hearts they have known.

The statements that follow are a sample of the fond memories and wishes that friends and admirers shared about the bishop-elect as he nears his episcopal ordination.

Bob McCarthyFor years, we've expected that George would be named a bishop. It was not a surprise to us. What is a surprise to us was that the Friday before it was announced, he was saying the monthly Mass for our Mass group and someone asked, ‘George, when is this going to get done?' And he said nothing! It's not a shock — just because of who he is, his pastoral abilities. We all thought, ‘It's just a matter of time.'"

Bob McCarthy, friend and member of a group that has been meeting for Masses with Bishop-elect Sheltz for nearly 20 years

Father Christopher Plant"When I was in the first year of my priesthood, I was having some difficulties because of changes that were happening in the parish. We would get together for lunch and just discuss the challenges that I was experiencing at the time. I remember the calmness with which he would counsel me. It wouldn't be the wisdom or advice he would give, but the way he would give it –he said things were going to be OK because Jesus was in charge."

Father Christopher Plant, Pastor of Resurrection Church, who was mentored by Bishop-elect Sheltz

Deacon Mike Mims"I've been telling him for years that he was our next bishop and he would always retort with something like, ‘Hell will freeze over before that happens.' The morning he gave us the news I assured him that they were ice skating in hell! The hardest thing now is what to call him. He's been ‘Monsignor' for so long. We spent [a] day shopping for his new vestments and he was ‘Mon....Bishop' all day. He just grins and chuckles. He's such a humble man and we are just giddy with excitement for him. He's going to be an awesome auxiliary bishop for Galveston-Houston."

Deacon Mike Mims, long-time friend from St. Anthony of Padua Church

"He is a special friend to me and also became a special friend to my family and was always there for good times and bad. With regard to the community of Christ the Redeemer, I found Father George to be a very compassionate person towards his community. I know that he went through a lot of trials during his time at Christ the Redeemer. I knew him to be a leader and I saw that in him and, indeed, now that has come to fruition in him being [selected] to be a bishop of our Archdiocese."

Pat Jezierski, who was hired as Bishop-elect Sheltz' first secretary at Christ the Redeemer Church

Father Joseph Daleo
"We go back all the way to seminary days; we've been ordained 40 years. George is such a good, honest pastoral man. I'm just very happy and pleased that this honor has been given to him. He's more than an administrator; he's involved with the everyday life of his people and he identifies with them in their needs."

Father Joseph Daleo, Pastor, St. Mary Church, Orange, Texas

Sally Bradford

"I am honored to say Bishop Sheltz has been my friend for over 30 years. He is compassionate, smart, and a testament to the priesthood. I know his parents are in heaven beaming with pride!" 

Sally Bradford, friend

Father Eugene Tremie"One of the good qualities Father Sheltz has is that he brings a lot of people together. If you ever crossed his path, you were on his train and he would not leave you out. If we had reunions, he was the one who usually got us together and he invited everyone whether they were ordained or not. He was so inclusive."

Father Eugene Tremie, Pastor, St. Marcellus Church in Rynella, and a seminarian classmate with Bishop-elect Sheltz

Deacon Ken Martin

"Bishop Sheltz, you are a good and holy man. You care about people. You are in my prayers." 

Deacon Ken Martin, high school classmate of Bishop-elect Sheltz

Stella Brooks
"He's a wonderful individual. One-on-one, he is very easy to talk to. He's done a lot of traveling and so he loves to tell stories about where he's been what he has done and all of that. That's a real gift. It's also why he's such a good homilist."

Stella Brooks, former staffer at Prince of Peace Church, where Bishop-elect Sheltz was pastor

"He's always been a part of our lives, these 37 years. He's never been far away. He's baptized many of our kids, played Santa Claus for them and even married some of them. I consider him to be one of the best friends that I have. He's been a delight all these years. He's a wonderful priest, but he's been so much more to us. He's one of our friends – a dear, dear person."

Deacon Dan Foley, a friend and member of a large group of friends who have known Bishop-elect Sheltz for nearly 40 years

Rick Parsons
"The first time I heard one of his homilies, we had four priests from our class [at St. Thomas High School]. When we have a reunion, we try to get four priests together to say a Mass for us. Monsignor Sheltz did the homily and it was the first time I heard one of his homilies. I was blown away. He's so down-to-earth and has a wonderful sense of humor. It was probably the first homily in my life that I really got something out of and listened to."