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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –  The Most Reverend Gregory Kelly was ordained a bishop before a capacity crowd Thursday at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell.

More than a thousand people filled the cathedral for the event including Bishop Kelly’s family, friends and former parishioners.

25 Catholic bishops from throughout Texas and the Southwest along with hundreds of priests, deacons, nuns, religious brothers and ecumenical leaders participated.

Pope Francis announced December 16, 2015  he was naming the then-Monsignor Gregory Kelly as a bishop and assigned him to serve as an auxiliary or assistant bishop for the Dallas diocese.

Bishop Farrell welcomed the 59-year old Kelly as his new brother bishop.

“I am extremely grateful to our Holy Father Pope Francis for appointing such an outstanding priest as Greg Kelly to serve as a bishop in our diocese,” said Bishop Farrell. “Bishop Kelly is extremely well-respected by priests and parishioners alike. I congratulate him as begins this new chapter in his priestly ministry.”

Bishop-elect Kelly expressed his gratitude and asked the community for prayers.

“I am grateful to the Holy Father, whom I greatly admire, for this appointment and I look forward to serving the people of the Diocese of Dallas as a bishop and working with Bishop Farrell and Bishop Doug Deshotel in this new capacity. I am confident that God’s grace to do this job comes with this call, but ask that you please pray for me,” said Bishop-elect Kelly.

New Catholic bishop ordained in Dallas (Becky Wiese - CBS11)

New Catholic bishop ordained in Dallas (Becky Wiese – CBS11)

Bishop Kelly has been a priest in the Dallas diocese for nearly 34 years. Born in Le Mars, Iowa to John and Marilean Kelly, the new bishop, one of five children, grew up in Colorado and came to North Texas in 1976 as a student at the University of Dallas and seminarian at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, according to a news release from the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

He will now join Bishop Farrell and Auxiliary Bishop Douglas Deshotel in ministering to an ever-growing flock of 1.3 million Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas.

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