Shelton Fabre

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Shelton Fabre
Archbishop of Louisville
AppointedFebruary 8, 2022
InstalledMarch 30, 2022
PredecessorJoseph Edward Kurtz
OrdinationAugust 5, 1989
by Stanley Joseph Ott
ConsecrationFebruary 28, 2007
by Alfred Clifton Hughes, John Ricard, Robert William Muench
Personal details
Born (1963-10-25) October 25, 1963 (age 60)
Previous post(s)
MottoComfort my people
Styles of
Shelton Joseph Fabre
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Shelton Joseph Fabre is an American prelate of the Catholic Church who has served as the Archbishop of Louisville in Kentucky since March 30, 2022. He served as bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana from 2013 to 2022 and was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in Louisiana from 2007 to 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

Shelton Fabre was born in New Roads, Louisiana, on October 25 1963. He attended primary and secondary schools in New Roads, graduating in 1981 as valedictorian of Catholic High School of Pointe Coupée. He then entered Saint Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana, graduating with a bachelor's degree in history in 1985.[1]

Fabre then continued his formation at the American College of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium, while studying at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies in 1987 and a Master of Arts in religious studies degree in 1989.[2][1] Fabre was ordained a deacon on December 10, 1988, by Archbishop Peter Gerety at the Sint Jan-de-Doper Church at the university.[1]


Fabre was ordained a priest on August 5, 1989, by Bishop Stanley Ott for the Diocese of Baton Rouge at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.[1]

Fabre served as assistant pastor of the Louisiana parishes of:

  • St. Alphonsus Liguori in Greenwell Springs (1989 to 1992)
  • St. George in Baton Rouge (1992 to 1994)
  • St. Isidore the Farmer in Baker (1994 to 1995)
  • St. Joseph Cathedral (1995 to 1996)

Fabre later served as pastor at both St. Joseph Parish in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Maringouin, Louisiana. In 2004, Fabre became pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Baton Rouge.[1]

Fabre's diocesan positions during this period were as chaplain at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola in 1994, director of the Office of Black Catholics (1990-2005) and defender of the bond for the Marriage Tribunal (1994 to 2007).[1] Fabre was elected to serve on the diocesan Clergy Personnel Board and served as chair of the Pastoral Planning Committee of the diocese. At various times he took on the roles of chaplain to St. Joseph's Academy, dean of the Northwest Deanery. Fabre also served as a member of the College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, and the Diocesan School Board.[2][1]

Auxiliary bishop of New Orleans[edit]

On December 13, 2006, Fabre was appointed titular bishop of Pudentiana and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans by Pope Benedict XVI.[3] He was consecrated by Archbishop Alfred Hughes on February 28, 2007 in New Orleans.[4] He was the youngest bishop in the U.S. at the time.[4] As auxiliary bishop, Fabre served as vicar general and moderator of the curia. He also became pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in New Orleans.[1]

In October 2009, Fabre met with each of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the archdiocese that had been recently settled for $5 million. The plaintiffs had been beaten and abused in the 1950s and 1960s by nuns, priests and other staff members at Hope Haven and Madonna Manor, two Catholic homes for troubled youth. Fabre held the meetings to apologize for their treatment.[5]

Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux[edit]

Coat of arms as Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux

On September 23, 2013, Pope Francis appointed Fabre as bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. He was installed at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales on October 30, 2013.[2][6]

On May 4, 2018, Fabre became chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee against Racism of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[7] On November 6, 2018, Fabre released "Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love", a pastoral letter addressing racism in the United States and the Catholic response.

On January 11, 2019, Fabre released a list of 14 priests with credible accusations of sexual abuse against minors. The list went back to 1977, when the diocese was founded.[8] Fabre added this statement:[8]

Let me be clear: the abuse of a child by anyone is sinful, abhorrent and evil, particularly when perpetrated by one vested with the sacred trust of God’s children. Furthermore, any attempt to cover up these sins is even more disturbing. I apologize to all who have been harmed. It is with deep respect and profound reverence that I humbly extend this apology.

In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests, Fabre and other Catholic bishops issued a statement with a special emphasis on the Solemnity of Pentecost:

...pray and work toward a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a supernatural desire to rid ourselves of the harm that bias and prejudice cause. We call upon Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for the Spirit of Truth to touch the hearts of all in the United States and to come down upon our criminal justice and law enforcement systems. Finally, let each and every Catholic, regardless of their ethnicity, beg God to heal our deeply broken view of each other, as well as our deeply broken society.

Archbishop of Louisville[edit]

On February 8, 2022, Pope Francis named Fabre as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Louisville.[9] He was installed on March 30, 2022.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bishop Shelton J. Fabre". Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  2. ^ a b c "Special Report". National Black Catholic Congress. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2007-04-19.
  3. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 13.12.2006" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. December 13, 2006. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "New Orleans Archdiocese installs youngest U.S. bishop". Clarion Herald. March 10, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  5. ^ Times-Picayune, Bruce Nolan, The (21 October 2009). "Archdiocese of New Orleans settles sex abuse suits for $5 million". Retrieved January 5, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Fabre, Shelton. "Pope names new bishop for Houma-Thibodaux". The Houma Courier. Retrieved 24 September 2013.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Jones, Kevin J. (May 4, 2018). "Bishop Fabre to head US bishops' anti-racism committee". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "List: Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux names 14 priests with credible claims of child sexual abuse". 11 January 2019. Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  9. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 08.02.2022" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. February 8, 2022. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  10. ^ "Vatican names new Louisville archbishop, who has history of fighting 'grave sin of racism'". Louisville Courier Journal. February 8, 2022. Retrieved February 8, 2022.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Louisville