Archbishop Fabre’s top priority is building relationship with Jesus

In this file photo, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre is seen celebrating Mass at Holy Family Church Feb. 8, two hours after Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Louisville. With him were Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, whom he succeeds, right, and Bishop of Nashville J. Mark Spalding. He was installed as the 10th Bishop and fifth Archbishop of Louisville today, March 30. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

Record Staff Writer

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre was installed today as the 10th Bishop and fifth Archbishop of Louisville.

Archbishop Fabre’s top priority is a simple one — and one that should be easy to guess — a relationship with Jesus Christ.

During a wide-ranging video interview last month, Archbishop Fabre discussed various priority issues for the church, and topping his list were building a relationship with the church and with Jesus Christ.

“I’m very much about people fostering a relationship with the church and a relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship that leads them to prayer, a relationship that leads them to action,” he said. “Our prayer should always lead us to action and our action must always be guided by our prayer.”

Other priorities include:

  •  Liturgy — “I love good liturgy because that is where most people encounter Christ. Sunday worship is very important.”
  • Formation of the youth — “I think the education of our young people is very important, both in Catholic schools and in our parishes.”
  • Social concerns of the church — “Social teachings of the church are important. Under those social teachings, I would include respect for human life and in particular how racism and capital punishment are direct attacks against the sanctity of human life.”
  • The life and ministry of priests — “A bishop’s chief consultors are his priests. Giving them what they need to be the best pastor or the best priest that they can be is very important to me.”
  • Wisdom and teaching — “It’s important to me that the church brings its wisdom and teaching to discussion and to life.”

Archbishop Fabre has brought these priorities to his Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, where he was assigned before his appointment to the Archdiocese of Louisville. And he brought them to bear in his service to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

At the national level, Archbishop Fabre currently serves as chair of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. He oversaw the drafting of the USCCB’s most recent pastoral letter on racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love,” which was approved and published in 2018.

He also serves on the board of Catholic Relief Services and as a consultant to the USCCB’s Pro-Life Committee.

Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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