Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
The Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza is Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. A former bishop of San Angelo, Fiorenza was named Bishop of Galveston-Houston in 1984. When the Diocese of Galveston-Houston was elevated to the status of Archdiocese in 2004, he became an Archbishop. He retired in 2006 at the customary age of 75.
Fiorenza was born in Beaumont, Texas, where he graduated from St. Anthony Catholic High School. He studied Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in La Porte, Texas and was ordained on May 29, 1954. From 1954 to 1979 he served various positions in Catholic churches and schools.
He began his ministry as assistant pastor at Queen of Peace Church in La Marque, Texas. He served as pastor of St. Augustine, St. Benedict, and Assumption Parishes in the Diocese of Galveston. He also served as Professor of Medical Ethics at Dominican College, Houston and as Administrator of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral. Fiorenza continues such work today, most notably by serving on the board of directors at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He has also served as Vice Chancellor and then as Chancellor of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston.
In 1973 Fiorenza was named a Prelate of Honor to His Holiness Pope Paul VI. In 1979, Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo. In 1984, Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. When the Diocese of Galveston-Houston was elevated to the status of Archdiocese in 2004, Fiorenza became an Archbishop. He retired in 2006.
Archbishop Fiorenza is involved in various organizations including:
- Administrative Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1995-present
- Former member of the Bishops’ Committee for Black Catholics
- Vice-President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops – 1995-1998
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the University of St. Thomas, Houston
- President of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities
- President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops – 1998-2001
- Member of the Board of Visitors of the Menniger-Baylor College of Medicine Foundation
Member of Board of Trustees for the Children’s Defense Fund