ope Francis has appointed Father Gary W. Janak, vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Bishop-designate Janak also is the rector of the Cathedral Our Lady of Victory in Victoria. A native of Texas, the bishop-designate, 58, was ordained as a Victoria diocesan priest May 14, 1988.
The appointment was announced in Washington Feb. 15 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio.
The San Antonio Archdiocese is headed by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller. The diocese also is served by Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Boulette.
"I wish to thank the Holy Father for his generosity in appointing a second auxiliary bishop to us. The pope and the nuncio both appreciate and recognize the rapid growth taking place in this part of south-central Texas, and the state as a whole," said Archbishop García-Siller said in a Feb. 15 statement.
"Just last week, I formally proclaimed the establishment of St. Jose Sanchez del Rio Church on the city’s north side," he added. "This is the second new parish we have established in the past three years, and we are in need of several new churches in our area to accommodate the increasing numbers of people moving here."
Bishop-designate Janak, who speaks English and Spanish, has been chancellor since 2012 and vicar general since 2015.He has been cathedral rector since 2013. He served as Victoria's diocesan administrator from April 23, 2015, when Victoria Bishop David E. Fellhauer retired at 75, to June 29, 2015, when Bishop Brendan J. Cahill was ordained and installed to succeed Bishop Fellhauer.
Bishop-designate Janak was born in El Campo, Texas, March 22, 1962, living for six years in Eagle Lake, Texas, before moving to Palacios, Texas, which is his hometown. He was the third of four children born to Josephat "Joe" and Rose Marie Janak. His father died of brain cancer in 1998.
He said his Czech heritage has provided a great grounding force for him in terms of his faith and the call to be connected to God, family and service to God's church. He was raised in Palacios, a multilingual and multiethnic community, and graduated in 1980 from Palacios High School.
He attended Wharton County Junior College for one year before transferring to the University of Texas. In 1982, he entered Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as one of the first five seminarians for the newly formed Diocese of Victoria.
In 1983, he received his bachelor's degree in history. He began his theological formation at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio in 1984. He obtained his master of divinity degree from Oblate School of Theology, also in San Antonio, in 1998.
Bishop-designate Janak also has a canon law degree from The Catholic University of American in Washington and a master's of education in counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria and also is licensed by the state of Texas as a professional counselor. He specializes in couples therapy, grief counseling, stress and anger management issues and individual counseling for depression and anxiety.
He also is executive director of the Emmaus Center in Victoria and a counselor at the bilingual center, which provides individual, marital and family counseling services from a Catholic perspective.
After his ordination as a priest, he served in parishes in Victoria, Yoakum, El Campo, Nada and New Taiton, Texas.
Among other positions he has held in the Victoria Diocese, Bishop-designate Janak has been director of the permanent diaconate program, 1990-1995; vocation director/director of seminarians, 1990-1996, diocesan co-coordinator of pastoral care and outreach, 2004-2016; and vicar of the El Campo Deanery, 2007-2013.
He's currently a judge and advocate on the Victoria diocesan marriage tribunal and a member of the diocesan review board, the college of consultors, the priests' council, the priest personnel board and the diocesan finance board.