The Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux unveiled new leadership supporting Bishop Shelton J. Fabre and the mission of the Catholic Church in south Louisiana.
Very Rev. Simon Peter Engurait, V.G., who has been serving the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux as Moderator of the Curia and Coordinator of Christian Formation since May of 2016, has been appointed Vicar General of Administration. He will remain Administrator of St. Bridget in Schriever, where he has served since his appointment in February of 2017. As Vicar General Very Rev. Engurait will be responsible for the executive management of the Diocesan Pastoral Center and will assist Bishop Shelton Fabre with the overall administration of the Diocese. His appointment is effective immediately.
Prior to his ordination in 2013, Very Rev. Engurait specialized in business analysis and administration for 11 years while working professionally for the Federal Government of Uganda. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Administration and the equivalent of a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Divinity (Theology). “It is a great honor and I am humbled” said Very Rev. Engurait. “More importantly, it is a tremendous responsibility entrusted to me and I trust that the Lord who calls also empowers. I look forward to closely supporting the Bishop in his role as shepherd, forming disciples and building the Kingdom of God here in Houma-Thibodaux.”
Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G.,who has been serving the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux as Chancellor since October of 2015, has been appointed Vicar General of Parish Life. As Vicar General Very Rev. Toups will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Diocesan Strategic Plan. In addition, he will assist Bishop Fabre in tending to the presbyterial needs of pastors while also providing a pastoral presence in parishes. His appointment is effective immediately.
Prior to his ordination in 2001, Very Rev. Toups worked professionally in change management and strategic planning while employed by the world’s largest management consulting firm. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History, the equivalent of a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, and Master’s Degree in Divinity (Theology). A certified spiritual director, he has served the Institute for Priestly Formation since 2003 as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Theology, spiritual director, and program coordinator for the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Very Rev. Toups expressed his humility in accepting the appointment. “I love our Diocese: the people, our history, and the mission that has been given to us. I have great hope for our future. It is an honor to be asked to serve in any capacity and I am humbled to embrace a new chapter of service. It has been a profound pleasure to work with Bishop Fabre since his arrival and I look forward to serving him, our pastors, and our parishes.”
Very Rev. Jay Baker, J.C.L.,who has been serving the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux as Vicar General since July of 2003, has been appointed Chancellor and Vicar for Priests. He will remain Rector of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. As Chancellor Very Rev. Baker will serve as a special consultant to the Bishop. As Vicar for Priests Very Rev. Baker will coordinate a variety of presbyterial programs such as priests continuing education, initiatives for newly ordained priests, initiatives for new pastors, etc. His appointment is effective immediately.
Very Rev. Baker holds a Licentiate in Canon Law degree, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, the equivalent of a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, and Master’s Degree in Divinity (Theology). Says Very Rev. Baker: “It has been my honor to serve Bishops Fabre and Jacobs as their Vicar General as well as Msgr. Songy
in sede vacante before them. I am humbled by the amount of responsibility these men shouldered. Even when I could not help carry their load, it was always my hope to walk alongside them in prayerful support. I appreciate Bishop Fabre’s confidence in appointing me to serve him as Chancellor and Vicar for Priests and, again, I look forward to walking with him in this new capacity in the years ahead.”
Bishop Shelton J. Fabre said of the three new appointments: “I am deeply grateful to Fr. Simon Peter Engurait, Fr. Mark Toups and to Fr. Jay Baker for their willingness to assume these new roles in service to the priests, people and church parishes in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. I am thankful for their willing to give so generously of themselves and their time in assisting me in providing for the administrative and pastoral needs of our diocese. Each of them has great gifts that will serve well in the areas of responsibility that they are assuming, and I look forward to our ongoing efforts to form missionary disciples and to build up the Kingdom of God here in our area.”
In addition to the aforementioned curia appointments, other appointments were also made.
Very Rev. Joshua Rodrigue, S.T.L., who has been serving the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in the Vocations Office since 2010 and Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales since July of 2012, has been granted permission to serve as the Director of Pastoral Formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. As Director of Pastoral Formation Very Rev. Rodrigue will help seminarians appropriate and apply their theological study, teaching them how to be effective pastors. His appointment is effective July 1, 2017.
Very Rev. Rodrigue holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology degree, a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Liberal Arts. He has served on the faculty at Saint Joseph Seminary College since 2006, where he has been an adjunct professor of both Moral and Sacramental Theology with specialization on Holy Orders and the Priesthood.
Beginning July 1, 2017
Bishop Shelton J. Fabrewill serve as Pastor of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma.
Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G. has been appointed Administrator the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma, with his appointment as Administrator effective July 1, 2017.
Rev. Mitch Semarhas been appointed Assistant Director of Seminarians, assigned for seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary College, with his appointment as Assistant Director of Seminarians effective July 1, 2017. He will remain Pastor of Christ the Redeemer in Thibodaux.
Rev. André Melanconwill remain Director of Seminarians, assigned for seminarians at Notre Dame Seminary.