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Bishop Dorsonville of Houma-Thibodaux, La., dies unexpectedly at age 63

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, the fifth bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, La., has passed away at age 63. He died Jan. 19, 2023, from complications related to recent health problems, the diocese announced. He is seen celebrating his installation Mass March 29, 2023, at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. (OSV News photo/Lawrence Chatagnier, Bayou Catholic)

SHRIEVER, La. (OSV News) — Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Houma-Thibodaux passed away unexpectedly late Jan. 19 due to complications from recent health problems, according to the diocese. He was 63.

He is remembered for his various teaching and pastoral roles in his native Colombia as well as his service as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Bishop Dorsonville had headed the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese as its fifth bishop just under a year since his installation on March 29, 2023. Prior to that, the bishop had served as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington for eight years since his appointment in 2015.

“It is with great sadness and deep shock that I announce to you that our beloved Shepherd, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, passed away at 6:50 pm this evening after he gave in to complications arising from recent health problems,” Father Simon Peter Engurait, the diocese’s vicar general, said in posting the news of the bishop’s death on social media Jan. 19. “My heart is broken. … I ask that you be patient with us as we begin to navigate through these uncertain moments.”

On the national level, Bishop Dorsonville was a vocal advocate for immigration reform in the U.S. and served as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration from 2019 to 2022.

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