Amarillo—Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Amarillo, will celebrate his 40
anniversary of ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving tonight, beginning at 6:30 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1200 South Washington.
The Mass is open to the public, with a reception to follow in the Monsignor Francis A. Smyer Activity Center. The Mass will be broadcast on St. Valentine Catholic Radio, 1360AM, KDJW, and online at
, beginning at 6:20pm.
A native Texan, Bishop Zurek, 66, was born on Aug. 17, 1948 in Sealy, the youngest of three sons born to Arnold and Victoria (Bohac) Zurek. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Austin on June 29, 1975 by Blessed Paul VI at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Bishop Zurek served as parishes in Temple, Bryan and Austin and was the founding pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in College Station. He worked in vocation ministry and was president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.
On Feb 16, 1998, he was ordained a Bishop by Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio, and as an Auxiliary Bishop, assisted Archbishop Flores and later, Archbishop José H. Gomez in numerous ministries as well as serving as Vicar General and liaison for partnership with the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
On Jan. 3, 2008, Bishop Zurek was appointed Bishop of Amarillo and was installed as the ordinary during a Feb. 22 Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. In his first eight years in Amarillo, he successfully led a Diocesan Assembly, has produced two Pastoral Letters (
, released on April 12, 2009 and
From Many Cultures, One Church
, released on Nov. 1, 2010).
Bishop Zurek continues to hold several important offices on the national, international and regional level. He is on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, on the Planning Committee to develop a new Spanish Bible, which will be used throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. He recently served on the board of governors for the North American College Seminary in Rome. Bishop Zurek is also president and CEO of the Czech American Priests Association.