College of Consultors Announces New Leadership for Houma-Thibodaux Diocese

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The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux announces that the College of Consultors has elected Rev. Simon Peter Engurait as the Diocesan Administrator. Fr. Engurait will serve the diocese as its leader until the Holy Father appoints a new bishop.

Upon the untimely death Friday, January 19, 2024, of Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, the office of bishop in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux was officially declared vacant, or sede vacante. Thus, according to canon law, the College of Consultors was charged with selecting a diocesan administrator within eight days, a period known as the interregnum.

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux College of Consultors met on Monday, January 22, 2024, to elect the new Diocesan Administrator. The diocesan administrator continues the work of the bishop until a future bishop is named by the Holy Father. Upon his election, Fr. Engurait made a profession of faith in the presence of the College of Consultors and notified the Apostolic Nuncio of his election.

Fr. Engurait is a native of Ngora, Uganda, and a 2013 Master of Divinity graduate of Notre Dame Seminary. He was ordained by Bishop Sam Jacobs at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral on May 26, 2013. He served as associate pastor at St. Francis, St. Hilary of Poitiers (Mathews), St. Genevieve (Thibodaux), and Christ the Redeemer (Thibodaux) before his current post as pastor of St. Bridget (Schriever). He has been serving at St. Bridget and as the vicar general of the diocese since 2017.

Fr. Engurait immediately assumed leadership as Diocesan Administrator. When asked about his election, he stated, “I’m humbled by the confidence of my brother priests. I commit to serve God and his people in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.”

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux issued this letter and video from Rev. Simon Peter Engurait in the wake of Bishop Mario Dorsonville’s recent passing:
Dear brothers and sisters of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, 

I come to you today with a humble and heavy heart. I have just been elected by the College of Consultors to serve you as the Diocesan Administrator. I pray that the Lord will grant me the grace to serve each one of you well as we grieve together the loss of our beloved father and shepherd, Bishop Mario Dorsonville. While a time will come for more thorough introductions, my focus, as well as the focus of the entire diocesan staff, remains on honoring Bishop Dorsonville in the coming days.

My dear brothers and sisters, as we grieve may we be reminded that we grieve because we love. Let us remember to pray for Bishop Dorsonville, that he may receive his eternal reward in the company of our heavenly Father and the communion of saints. 

He loved you greatly and considered himself blessed to be a part of this diocesan family. Houma-Thibodaux quickly became home to him. May we hold each other in prayer, turning to our God who is faithful even amid such great suffering. Please know of my ongoing prayers for each of you.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that funeral arrangements have been made as follows:
Wednesday, January 31, Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales
Wake 9:00am-5:30pm
Evening Prayer 5:30pm
Memorial Mass for the Dead 7:00pm
Thursday, February 1, St. Joseph Co-Cathedral
Wake 8:00am-2:00pm
Funeral Mass 2:00pm 

Bishop Dorsonville will be buried on the grounds of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux.

Each of you is invited to celebrate with us the life of this good shepherd.

May God bless you and keep you,
Very Reverend Simon Peter Engurait
Diocesan Administrator 
Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux