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Father Simon-Peter Engurait has been chosen as diocesan administrator of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana following the unexpected death last week of Bishop Mario Dorsonville.

Dorsonville died of complications stemming from liver disease on Jan. 19, leaving the diocese sede vacante. Engurait, who has been the vicar general of the diocese since 2017, was selected by the college of consultors of the diocese to serve as diocesan administrator until Pope Francis appoints a new bishop.

Born in Ngora District, Eastern Uganda, Engurait holds a master’s of divinity degree from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and was ordained a priest on May 26, 2013. He served as associate pastor at St. Francis Cathedral in Houma and at the parishes of St. Hilary of Poitiers in Mathews, St. Genevieve in Thibodaux, and Christ the Redeemer in Thibodaux. He is currently pastor of St. Bridget in Schriever. 

In a message on the diocese’s Facebook page, Engurait said he received the news of his new role as administrator with “a humble and heavy heart.”

“I pray that the Lord will grant me the grace to serve each one of you well even as we grieve together the loss of our beloved father and shepherd, Bishop Mario Dorsonville,” he said.

“While a time will come for more thorough introductions, my focus as well as the focus of the entire diocesan staff remains on honoring Bishop Dorsonville in the coming days,” Engurait said.

He called on the people of God to pray for the soul of the late bishop, “that he may receive his eternal reward in the company of our heavenly father and the communion of saints.”

The diocese also announced that visitation for Dorsonville will be Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Francis in Houma, with evening prayer at 5:30 p.m. and a memorial Mass for the dead at 7 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 1, visitation will be at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux from 8 a.m. until the time of his funeral Mass at 2 p.m.

Dorsonville will be buried on the grounds of the co-cathedral.

By CNA Staff

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