Pope Francis appointed a former College Station priest as the Sixth Bishop of San Angelo Thursday.
Father Michael Sis served in campus ministry at St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station for thirteen and a half years. Colleagues tell News 3 he dramatically helped transform the church and hearts of many in Aggieland.
"Father Mike made a huge impression on me; if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here today," said Marcel LeJeune, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry for St. Mary's Catholic Center. LeJeune says he met Sis while he was a student at A&M.
After he opened up to Sis about some of the mistakes he had made, LeJeune says he was inspired to lead a more fulfilling life.
"I walked out wanting to do something better because I knew God had a better plan for my life; but on the flip side of that I also just felt better about myself because he put me at peace," said LeJeune.
He says when Sis first came to St. Mary's, there were only four employees in a rundown building; now, it's one of the largest campus ministries in the country.
"Father Mike was somebody who could take two radically different people together and hold hands and that was the way he was able to put the vision that he had to grow St. Mary's into work," LeJeune explained.
Sis attended St. Joseph Catholic School and graduated from Bryan High School in 1978. While he didn't attend A&M, Sis has continued to minister to Aggies during hard times, such as when the Bonfire fell. He has noted feeling close ties with the university for many reasons. His father Ray was also a professor in the Veterinary School.
"It was no surprise to us who know father Mike, because he's the kind of guy who is detail oriented, hardworking and a good man; he's going to make the perfect Bishop," said LeJeune.
Sis was ordained as a priest in 1986. He will replace retiring Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI, DD, who was appointed Bishop of San Angelo by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
Bishop-elect Sis will be ordained as bishop at 2 p.m. on January 27th at the McNease Convention Center in San Angelo.
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