Curtis J. Guillory
|The Most Rev. Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D., D.D.|
|Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont|
|See||Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont|
|In office||July 28, 2000 – present|
|Predecessor||Joseph A. Galante|
September 1, 1943|
|Previous post||Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston Diocese|
Curtis John Guillory, S.V.D. (born September 1, 1943) is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, TX. He became the fifth bishop of the 34-year-old Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont on July 28, 2000.
He is the first African American to be bishop of Beaumont — or ordinary of any diocese in Texas, for that matter.
His father's side of the family has been traced back to France. His mother's side of the family has been traced to the island of Dominica in the West Indies.
He is the first Beaumont bishop to be a member of a religious community. He is a member of the Society of the Divine Word. While an active bishop, he remains a member of that community but is not under its jurisdiction.
He is the second bishop of Beaumont to have Louisiana roots. Bishop Warren Boudreaux was the first. Both were born and reared in the Diocese of Lafayette. Six of the 13 African-American bishops are from that diocese.
He is the third of five bishops who came by way of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. Bishops Vincent Madeley Harris and Bernard J. Ganter were natives of that diocese. Bishop Guillory served as Auxiliary Bishop there for 12 years.
Curtis John Guillory was born to Wilfred and Theresa Guillory on September 1, 1943, in Mallet, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. He is the oldest of 16 children (six sons, ten daughters); all but one are still living.
His family goes back to the early years of Mobile, Alabama. Pointe Guillory and Guillory Pass are named for his ancestors.
His father owned a small farm and worked another one. The children, including Curtis, helped in picking cotton, shucking corn, and feeding the animals. During the school year, Curtis would get up early to work the farm before school, and came home right after to work until dark.
One of his early pastors was Josephite Father George Strype, who also served in the Beaumont Diocese.
Young Curtis entered the Society of Divine Word's St. Augustine Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where in addition to his studies, he played on the seminary baseball team.
The Society of Divine Word, founded as a missionary community in Holland, was one of the first to accept African-Americans as seminarians.
His priestly ordination took place at his home parish of St. Ann in Mallet on December 16, 1972, by Panamanian Bishop Carlos Lewis, a member of the Divine Word Community.
His first assignment was to St. Augustine Parish in New Orleans. Established in 1841, this was the home parish of Homer Plessy, plaintiff of the Plessy v. Ferguson court case. Father Guillory served three years as an associate and six years as pastor.
He was the founding director of the Tolton House of Studies in New Orleans – the seminarian residence of the Divine Word students.
In addition, he served during these years as a member of the executive committee of National Black Catholic Administrators, the Louisiana One Church/One Family adoption program, national chaplain to the Knights of Peter Claver, archdiocesan presbyteral council, and board member of the Spirituality Center.
The highlight of his New Orleans years was being the coordinator of the visit of Pope John Paul II in New Orleans.
Guillory's appointment as auxiliary bishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese was announced on December 29, 1987. He was consecrated on February 19, 1988.
The bishop chose for his episcopal motto Romans 8:28: "For those who love God, all things work together for good."
He is known for his frequent visitations of parishes and schools.
He has also held many church and civic responsibilities. Bishop Guillory was selected chair of the Committee of African American Catholics.
He also served on the national committee on Hispanic Affairs and Priestly Life and Ministry, and the boards of Sacred Heart Seminary and Xavier University. His civic services include the board of the YMCA, the Mental Health Association, and the Harris County Hospital District.
His hobbies are reading, exercising, and traveling. He was the only bishop to carry the Olympic torch in 1996 when it traveled across the country.