Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, STL, D.Min., currently an auxiliary bishop and vicar general of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The announcement was made this morning in Rome and Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. The Diocese will hold a press conference this morning at 9am.
“I am deeply humbled and thankful to our Holy Father for his acceptance of me as the next Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux,” says Bishop Dorsonville. “I have a deep love for the Lord and His Church, and a keen interest in learning more about Houma-Thibodaux, listening to her needs and dreams, and discerning where the Holy Spirit will lead us.”
Bishop Dorsonville will be installed as the new Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. He will succeed Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, who was installed as Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, on March 30, 2022. Very Rev. Patrick “P.J.” Madden has served Houma-Thibodaux as the diocesan administrator since April 1, 2022, during Sede Vacante.
“With great gratitude to the Holy Spirit and to our diocesan family for their prayers, I am delighted by the appointment of Bishop Mario Dorsonville to pastor our diocese into the future for the glory of God and the salvation of souls,” says Very Rev. Madden.
Bishop Dorsonville was born October 31, 1960, in Bogotá, Colombia, and attended the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 1981 and a Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology in 1985. He was ordained to the priesthood on November 23, 1985, in Bogotá. Following ordination, he served as a priest in Bogotá and Professor of Business Ethics (1990-1991) at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá.
Bishop Dorsonville received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá in 1991 and a Doctorate in Ministry from The Catholic University of America in 1996. He returned briefly to Colombia to serve as Chaplain and Professor of Business Ethics at the National University of Colombia and Professor of Pastoral Counseling and Catechesis at the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bogotá from 1995-1996.
His first appointment within the Archdiocese of Washington was as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Bethesda, Maryland (1997-2004). He also served as Parochial Vicar of St. Mark the Evangelist parish in Hyattsville, Maryland (2004-2005).
He was named an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington by Pope Francis on March 20, 2015, and ordained to the episcopate on April 20, 2015. He has served as Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Washington since 2015. Bishop Dorsonville was the chairman of the Migration and Refugee Services committee for the USCCB (2019-2022). Currently, he serves as a member of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on Migration and Refugees, Committee on Religious Liberty, and the Adhoc Committee Against Racism.