Statement of Archbishop Kurtz and other bishops on the appointment of Archbishop Fabre

Following is the public statement of the Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz on the appointment of Archbishop-designate Shelton Joseph Fabre by Pope Francis:

As I give thanks for the privilege to have served as Archbishop of Louisville, I know in my heart that Pope Francis has given a great gift to the wonderful Archdiocese and Province of Louisville by appointing a true servant of Jesus Christ.

How truly blessed we are in the Archdiocese of Louisville that our Holy Father Pope Francis, impelled by the Holy Spirit, has appointed Bishop Shelton Joseph Fabre as our 10th bishop and 5th archbishop. I am delighted to welcome Archbishop-designate Shelton, whom I have admired and called friend for the past 15 years.

Archbishop Fabre comes from Louisiana and brings with him such outstanding gifts — a deep love of Jesus Christ, an abiding trust in Jesus’ care for His Church, a listening and very approachable spirit, a strength of character, and a desire to serve the people of God and all people as he humbly relies on the grace of Christ and power of the Holy Spirit. As I give thanks for the privilege to have served as Archbishop of Louisville, I know in my heart that Pope Francis has given a great gift to the wonderful Archdiocese and Province of Louisville by appointing a true servant of Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Fabre’s motto, “Comfort My People,” drawn from the Prophet Isaiah, speaks to his desire to be a faithful instrument of Jesus Christ. I rejoice and welcome my friend, Archbishop Shelton, as he brings Louisiana Cajun flavor to our fine Commonwealth, and I pledge to support him fully in his “new Kentucky home!”

Most Reverend
Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.

Following is a statement from the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of New Orleans.

I join with many in congratulating Bishop Fabre on his appointment as Archbishop of Louisville. He will be a very faithful and effective shepherd as he has been in his previous assignments as Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux and as Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The people of the Archdiocese of Louisville are blessed to receive him. I am sure you will open your hearts to him.

We will greatly miss him in Louisiana. For me, he has been a co-worker in ministry and a good friend. The consolation is knowing he will serve you well as archbishop.

Most Reverend
Gregory M. Aymond,
Archbishop of New Orleans

Following are statements from the Bishops of the Province of Louisville:


Diocese of Covington

With joy and thanksgiving, I welcome Archbishop Shelton Fabre to the Province of Louisville. His voice has been prophetic in the life of the Catholic Church in the United States, especially in calling us all to oppose the sin of racism and aspire to true unity in the Body of Christ and the human family.

I pray that God will continue to grace and supply Archbishop Fabre in his new ministry to the Province of Louisville. I am eager to minister alongside him and to benefit from his leadership.

As a recent arrival to Kentucky, I can bear witness that the people of the Commonwealth are welcoming and Holy Spirit-filled. May their giftedness be a constant joy and blessing for you, Archbishop Fabre.

Most Reverend
John C. Iffert
Bishop of Covington

I am pleased to congratulate the Most Reverend Bishop Shelton Fabre, currently Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, on his appointment as the 10th Bishop and 5th Archbishop of Louisville. As a priest for 32 years and a bishop for 15 years, Bishop Fabre brings with him a wealth of experience, both as a parish priest and as an able administrator.

His kind and gentle demeanor will serve him well as he ministers to his new flock. In the turbulent times in which we now find ourselves, I have no doubt that, true to his episcopal motto, he will be a great comfort to his people as he bears witness to the Lord in our midst. Prayers and best wishes!

Most Reverend
Roger Joseph Foys, D.D.
Bishop Emeritus of Covington

Diocese of Lexington

I am very happy to welcome Archbishop-designate Fabre to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I am certain he will quickly come to love the people and the place very much. Bishop Fabre’s leadership of the USCCB Anti-racism task force and his own heritage will be a great asset to the whole Church of Louisville and especially meaningful for the African American Catholic Community.

I am eager to work with the new archbishop and look forward to a continuation of the collaboration and fraternal spirit fostered by Archbishop Kurtz among the bishops of Kentucky and with the bishops of Tennessee. Welcome!

+ John
Most Reverend
John Stowe, OFM. Conv.
Bishop of Lexington

Diocese of Owensboro

Congratulations to Bishop Shelton Fabre and the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Louisville on his appointment as the next Archbishop of Louisville. Archbishop-designate Fabre is especially well suited to come to the Commonwealth of Kentucky as its newest shepherd with his vast experience as a priest and a bishop.

I was privileged to serve with Bishop Fabre on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee on African-American Affairs. Under his leadership, the committee produced and submitted to the USCCB in 2018 “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love — a Pastoral Letter Against Racism.”

Bishop Fabre visited the Diocese in Owensboro in 2019 to offer a study day for the clergy on the pastoral letter. He also gave a presentation to the public at St. Stephen Cathedral. These presentations provided wise and pastoral counsel to our community in these times of racial struggle.

If any state can lay claim to so rich a Catholic history as Kentucky, it would be Louisiana. We will all look forward to embracing Bishop Fabre’s experience as he becomes part of our Kentucky Catholic story.

Most Reverend
William F. Medley
Bishop of Owensboro



Diocese of Knoxville

I join with Cardinal Justin Rigali and the good people of the Diocese of Knoxville in welcoming Bishop Shelton J. Fabre to the Louisville Province as the new Archbishop of Louisville. I know that he will feel the warmth of a Kentucky and Tennessee welcome! He follows a true and loving shepherd in Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, and I have no doubt that he will be a true shepherd to the people of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Most Reverend
Richard F. Stika, D.D.
Bishop of Knoxville

In the spirit of prayerful solidarity I am delighted to welcome Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as the new Archbishop of Louisville. As a retired Bishop residing in the Diocese of Knoxville in the Province of Louisville, I assure Bishop Fabre of my continued prayers and fraternal support in his new pastoral service to the people of God.

Cardinal Justin Rigali
of Philadelphia

Diocese of Memphis

The appointment by our Holy Father of Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as the next Provincial Archbishop of Louisville brings me great joy. I have known and worked with Bishop Fabre in various capacities for nine years, and know him to be a generous and compassionate Bishop, a holy Bishop that will serve the people of the Archdiocese of Louisville with loving pastoral care and a concern for all, especially those on the margins. Archbishop-designate Fabre is an extraordinary man of God.

The Archdiocese of Louisville, having been blessed with the episcopal ministry of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz for these many years, is blessed anew. I want to thank the Holy Father for this insightful appointment. I thank as well, our Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, for his continued care for the Church in these United States. It will be my joy to join all in welcoming Archbishop-designate Fabre to the Province of Louisville.

Most Reverend
David P. Talley
Bishop of Memphis

I send my congratulations to Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and the Archdiocese of Louisville for the appointment of Bishop Shelton Fabre as the new Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Louisville. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has indeed made an excellent appointment. Please extend my congratulations and prayerful good wishes to Archbishop-designate Shelton Fabre. I look forward to working with him in service to God’s people.

I also thank Archbishop Kurtz immensely for the years of dedicated service as Archbishop of Louisville. He has worked steadfastly for and with the people of the archdiocese as well as for the Province. May our good and gracious God shower Archbishop Kurtz with blessings!

In the Divine Word,

Most Reverend
J. Terry Steib, S.V.D.
Bishop Emeritus of Memphis

Diocese of Nashville

Praise be Jesus Christ! I am delighted and give thanks to God for the wonderful news that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Shelton Fabre as Archbishop of Louisville.

The new Archbishop’s joyful spirit and heart of a servant leader were obvious from our days in the seminary and have shone even more brightly as a shepherd in Louisiana. May he continue to be a clear, strong voice in the Church providing leadership for us all.

Likewise, I am also grateful for the many good works and great service that Archbishop Kurtz has provided for the Archdiocese of Louisville.

I consider Archbishop Fabre and Archbishop Kurtz to be dear brother bishops who I pray the Good Lord continues to bless generously.

Most Reverend
J. Mark Spalding
Bishop of Nashville

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