Mario E. Dorsonville

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Mario Eduardo Dorsonville
Bishop of Houma–Thibodaux
ChurchCatholic Church
ArchdioceseNew Orleans
AppointedFebruary 1, 2023
InstalledMarch 29, 2023
PredecessorShelton Fabre
OrdinationNovember 23, 1985
by Mario Revollo Bravo
ConsecrationApril 20, 2015
by Donald Wuerl, Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, William E. Lori
Personal details
Born(1960-10-31)October 31, 1960
Bogotá, Colombia
DiedJanuary 19, 2024(2024-01-19) (aged 63)
Previous post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and Titular Bishop of Kearney (2015–2023)
MottoSacerdos in Aeternum
(A priest forever)
Coat of armsMario Eduardo Dorsonville's coat of arms
Styles of
Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodríguez
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodríguez (October 31, 1960 – January 19, 2024) was a Colombian-born American prelate of the Catholic Church who served Bishop of Houma–Thibodaux from March 2023 until his death. He was an auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., from 2015 to 2023.


Early life[edit]

Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodríguez was born on October 31, 1960, in Bogotá, Colombia, to Carlos Dorsonville and Leonor Rodríguez.[1] He studied for the priesthood at Theological Seminary of Bogotá where he received a bachelor's degrees in philosophy (1981) and sacred theology (1985).[2][3]


On November 23, 1985, Dorsonville was ordained a priest by Cardinal Mario Bravo for the Archdiocese of Bogotá.[1] After his ordination, Dorsonville served as associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Bogotá until 1986, then as chaplain of the National University of Colombia until 1987. That same year, he was appointed pastor of San Jose de Calasanz Parish in Bogotá. Dorsonville was also associate chaplain and professor of ethics at National University. He completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá in 1991.[1]

In 1992, Dorsonville moved to Washington, D.C., to study at the Catholic University of America. While studying there, he served as associate pastor at Good Shepherd Parish in Alexandria, Virginia, and Christ the Redeemer Parish in Sterling, Virginia. He also lectured at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington and at the Hispanic Apostolate of Arlington.[citation needed]

Dorsonville returned to Colombia in 1995 and served for a year as chaplain and professor of business ethics at National University and professor of pastoral counseling and catechesis at the Major Seminary.[2] [1]

In 1996, Dorsonville moved back to Washington to complete his Doctor of Ministry degree at the Catholic University of America. He was assigned in 1997 as associate pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bethesda, Maryland. Deciding to live permanently in the United States, Dorsonville was incardinated in 1999 in the Archdiocese of Washington.[4][5][1]

In 2004 Dorsonville became assistant pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Hyattsville, Maryland. In 2005, he was appointed vice president for mission of the Catholic Charities of Washington and director of the Spanish Catholic Center. He completed an executive certificate in non-profit management at Georgetown University in Washington in 2009. In 2011 he took on the additional responsibilities of adjunct spiritual director of St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington. He also served on the board of directors for Carroll Publishing Company (2000–2003), was a member of the priest council (2000–2015), and served as mentor for newly ordained priests (2010–2011) and held a membership in the college of consultors (2011–2015).[2][1]

Auxiliary Bishop of Washington[edit]

On March 20, 2015, Pope Francis named Dorsonville titular bishop of Kearney and an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington. He received his episcopal consecration on April 20, 2015, at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C., from Cardinal Donald Wuerl, with Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and Archbishop William Lori as co-consecrators.[5][4]

On February 29, 2020, Dorsonville addressed a hearing on refugees by the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship at the US House of Representatives. He said:[6]

Today I am here to echo the Holy Father’s message: to recognize that we must at all times, but particularly at this moment of great global turmoil, recognize the most vulnerable and welcome them to the extent we are able.[6]

Dorsonville released a statement on August 20, 2021, calling on the Biden Administration to address the refugee influx created by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan that month.[7] On September 29, 2021, during a homily, Dorsonville asked parishioners to become actively involved in helping Afghan refugees.[8]

Bishop of Houma–Thibodaux[edit]

On February 1, 2023, Pope Francis appointed Dorsonville as bishop of Houma–Thibodaux.[9][10] He was installed on March 29, 2023. Bishop Dorsonville died on January 19, 2024.[11] He was 63.[12] According to the diocesan website, Dorsonville died due to health complications related to liver disease, which was discovered the previous year.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop Mario Eduardo Dorsonville". Archdiocese of Washington. Retrieved 2022-10-14.
  2. ^ a b c "Pope Names Father Mario Dorsonville-Rodríguez Auxiliary Bishop Of Washington". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 2015-05-11.
  3. ^ "Auxiliary Bishops". Archdiocese of Washington. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  4. ^ a b "Bishop Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodríguez [Catholic-Hierarchy]". Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  5. ^ a b "Bishop Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodríguez". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2015-05-11.
  6. ^ a b Zimmermann, Carol; Service, Catholic News (2020-02-28). "Bishop Dorsonville of Washington urges Congress to show compassion, solidarity with refugees". The Dialog. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  7. ^ "U.S. Bishop Chairmen Respond to Evolving Crisis in Afghanistan". Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. 2021-08-18. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  8. ^ "Catholics asked to 'move from indifference to solidarity' with migrants". 29 September 2021. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  9. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 01.02.2023". Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  10. ^ "Pope Francis names new bishop to lead Houma-Thibodaux Diocese". Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Bishop Mario Dorsonville of H-T Diocese Dies at Age 63". January 19, 2024. Retrieved 19 January 2024.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux
Preceded by Titular Bishop of Kearney
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Succeeded by