Most Rev. Bishop Michael Sis Talks About New Position, West Texas Hospitality

Most Rev. Bishop Michael Sis Talks About New Position, West Texas Hospitality
by Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It was Bishop Michael Sis's first stop in Odessa since he was ordained Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo. He was in town for a celebration at St. Mary's Catholic Church but spoke with NewsWest 9 about his three weeks as bishop before the event.

"This is a completely new adventure for me, so I come here with an open heart, ready to serve and I hope to carry out my responsibilities faithfully," Most Rev. Bishop, Michael Sis, said.

The Diocese of San Angelo includes Midland and Odessa.

"The Catholic Diocese of San Angelo is as big as the state of Indiana; 29 counties in West Texas," he explained.

The jubilee at St. Mary's celebrated Father Santiago's 25 years of service. Bishop Sis officiated the mass.

"He's a very important priest in the area and has a lot of people who are going to be there, it'll probably be a packed house," Bishop Sis told NewsWest 9 before the jubilee.

The Bryan, TX, native is new to West Texas but said he was overwhelmed by the hospitality in the area.

"I've just felt so welcome here, the people are so hospitable, so genuine in welcoming me here," he explained.

At 54-years-old, Bishop Sis took over a position held by his predecessor for nearly 30 years. He described his reaction when he learned the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appointed him to be the next bishop.

"It really blew me out of the water, so I had to think about it, pray about it. It was a really difficult decision to say yes or no because it's a very hard job," he said.

He also told NewsWest 9 about his, and God's, plan for the diocese.

"As Catholics we belong to an international church so we're in the position to build bridges of understanding between cultures and I really hope to encourage that," he said.