Bishops of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas


Past Bishops of the diocese


Most Reverend Edward J. Burns

Curriculum Vitae


  • October 7, 1957, in Pittsburgh, PA. The son of (late) Donald P. and Geraldine Little Burns.


  • Secondary education at Lincoln High School (graduated 1975) in Ellwood City, PA.
  • B.A. degree (Philosophy and Sociology – graduated 1979) from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA while in priestly formation at St. Paul Seminary.
  • Received a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Theology degree from Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD.


  • Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh by the Most Reverend Vincent M. Leonard on June 25, 1983.
  • Ordained a Bishop at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh on March 3, 2009, and installed as Bishop in the Diocese of Juneau at Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on April 2, 2009.
  • Installed as Bishop in the Diocese of Dallas at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe on February 9, 2017.


  • Assigned as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Burgettstown, PA


  • Assigned as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Washington, PA


  • Appointed Vocation Director of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Vice-Rector of St. Paul Seminary and Dean of Studies of St. Paul Seminary


  • Named Director of the Department of Clergy and Ministerial Formation for the Diocese of Pittsburgh


  • Served as the Director of the Department of Clergy Personnel for the Diocese of Pittsburgh


  • Bishop Donald Wuerl released Bishop Burns from priestly service in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in order to accept the position of Executive Director of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. (In 2008 the office transitioned into the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life & Vocations in response to the re-organization of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

USCCB Projects

  • ​(1999-2008) Was co-chair of the Third Continental Congress on Vocations to Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life in North America called by His Holiness Pope John Paul II and took place in Montreal, Canada; April 18-21, 2002.
  • Rewriting of the Program of Priestly Formation
  • Serving as staff to the Apostolic Seminary Visitations
  • Initiating the vocation programs for priesthood entitled, Priestly Life and Vocation Summit: Fishers of Men
  • Served as Interim Director of the Secretariat for Priestly Life & Ministry and served as a consultant for the Bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People


  • Named a monsignor and appointed a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2006


  • Returned to the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Bishop David A. Zubik, appointed him as Rector of St. Paul Seminary, Director of the Department for Pre-Ordination Formation and Director of the Department for Priestly Vocations for the Diocese of Pittsburgh effective August 18, 2008

Bishop of the Diocese of Juneau
  • On January 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Burns to be the fifth Bishop of Juneau, Alaska
Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas
  • On December 13, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Burns to be the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas. 
Current Responsibilities with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Effective September 2019: Member, USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth Episcopal Liaison to World Youth Day (Lisbon, Portugal 2022)
  • Member of the Board of Directors for Catholic Relief Services
  • Immediate Past Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People
Other Responsibilities
  • Member of the Board of Trustees for The Papal Foundation
  • Chancellor of the University of Dallas


Coat of Arms - Bishop Edward J. Burns

In according to the Roman Catholic Church heraldic tradition, the Coat of Arms of a Bishop is normally composed by:

  • a shield with its charges (symbols) coming from family, geographic, religious and historical meanings and/or referred to the name of the Bishop;
  • a golden processional  cross, with one traversal bar, to represent the rank of the Bishop, “impaled” (vertically) behind the shield;
  • a green hat (galero) with 12 (six on each side) attached tassels, ordained 1; 2; 3; from the top;
  • a scroll with the motto, written in black, below everything.

Here it has been chosen a samnitic shape shield, frequently used in Roman Catholic Church heraldry and a botonny processional cross with five red stones to represent the Five Wounds of Christ.


For his motto Bishop Burns has chosen the familiar words from the liturgy that so often serve as an invitation to prayer and they reflect the words of the Apostle and Evangelist John encouraging believers to be confident that the Lord will hear us when we pray: 

“And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.” 
1 John 5:14-15

It also reflects the passage in the Gospel of Luke, known as the gospel of prayer, where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray:

And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11:9-10

Blazonry (heraldic description) of the Coat of Arms

“Impaled. Dexter: Gules, on a fess per bend wavy Argent three fleurs-de-lis Azure; in the sinister chief two crossed swords of the second, in the dexter base a mullet of the same; sinister: per bend sinister of the third and Or, a seven points star encircled by a rosary of the same in the dexter chief and a bugle-horn Sable, stringed of the first in the sinister base; three wavy barrulets of the third in base, thereupon a fishnet of the fifth”


In the right side of the shield (in the heraldic shield, right and left are exchanged from the observer point of view since we have to consider the right and the left of the soldier who holds his own shield) we find represented the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Dallas; it has a red (Gules) field in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The diagonal white bend represents the Trinity River located within the diocese (the placement of the bend, from top left to bottom right, somewhat resembles the northwest-southeast direction the river takes through the state).

The fleurs-de-lis within the bend are in honor of Pope Leo XIII (who was Pope when the diocese was established) and are taken from his coat of arms. The fleur-de-lis is repeated three times to represent the Holy Trinity.

The solitary star represents Dallas and also pays tribute to Texas' nickname, "The Lone Star State". The two swords honor St. Paul, who is the patron saint of the first Catholic settlement in Northeast Texas.

In the left side there is the personal Coat of Arms of Bishop Burns: this part of the shield is divided in two colours: the blue (Azure) symbolizes the separation from the worldly values and the ascent of the soul toward God, therefore the run of the Celestial Virtues which raise themselves from the things of the earth toward the sky. On this field we can see a star enclosed in a rosary, in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary whose feast is on October 7th, day of birth of Bishop Burns, while the last part of the shield is coloured in gold (Or), the most noble metal, symbol then of the first Virtue, the Faith: indeed, is due to Faith that Bishop Burns became a “fisher of men”, a service he has till now developed as a priest, a vocation director, Rector of the Seminary of Pittsburgh and as Bishop; the net recalls opportunely the Lord’s charge to St. Peter to be a “fisher of men” and the importance of this ministry in the Diocese of Dallas.  The black (Sable) horn, in heraldic shape, comes from the coat of arms of the Burns family and the three waves of water in blue (azure) want to remind the three rivers of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where Bishop Burns comes from.


Most Reverend Greg Kelly

Curriculum Vitae


  • February 15, 1956 in Le Mars, Iowa


  • Received a B.A. degree in Philosophy from the University of Dallas, 1978, while in priestly formation at Holy Trinity Seminary, Irving, Texas
  • Received a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dallas, 1982


  • Ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Dallas on May 15, 1982 by Bishop Thomas Tschoepe
  • Ordained as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Dallas on February 11, 2016 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Dallas, Texas 

1982 - 1986

  • Assistant Pastor, All Saints Catholic Church, Dallas, Texas

1986 - 1996

  • Chaplain, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas

1996 - 2008

  • Pastor, St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, McKinney, Texas

2008 - 2016

  • Vicar of Clergy, Diocese of Dallas

2016 - present

  • Auxiliary Bishop/Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia

1995 - 1997

  • Vocations Director, Diocese of Dallas

2008 - Present

  • Bishop's Senior Staff
  • Member of Presbyteral Council
  • Member of the College of Consultors


  • Named a Monsignor by Pope Benedict XVI


  • Interim Rector, Holy Trinity Seminary

2014 - Present

  • Member of National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy

2016 - Present

  • Member of Diocesan Review Board

2016 - 2017

  • Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Dallas


Coat of Arms - Bishop Greg Kelly


"Argent, upon a chevron Azure two estoiles of the first; between to chief dexter a fleur-de-lis and to chief sinister a trefoil and to base a star, all of the second."


The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, which is the central and most important part of the design and tells to whom the design belongs, the external ornamentation, which tells the owner’s position or rank, and a motto, placed upon a scroll. By heraldic tradition the design is described (blazoned) as if being done by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus, where it applies the terms “sinister” and “dexter” are reversed as the design is viewed from the front.

For the bishop who is without jurisdiction, as an Auxiliary Bishop, the entire shield of his design is given over to his personal arms.

Bishop Kelly’s arms are based on the Kelly family design where the shield is silver (white) and the charges (symbols) are black. For difference, and for his deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the chevron is now blue. The chevron is reminiscent of the mountains of Colorado, so dear to His Excellency’s youth and the chevron is charged with two estoiles (special, six pointed stars) that are taken from the mantle of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to remind all of the profound Hispanic influence in Texas, the “Lone Star State“, represented by the single star below the chevron. Above the chevron are a fleur-de-lis and a trefoil (the heraldic representation of a shamrock) to honor the Bishop’s Irish and French-Canadian heritage.

For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Kelly has adopted the phrase “TAKE COURAGE,” taken from the words of Jesus to the disciples as he walking towards them on the water (Mt. 14: 27): “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.” It is also the essence of the Archangel Gabriel‘s words to Mary at the Annunciation. In this phrase, His Excellency expresses that it is by God’s Strength that we have the courage to live as Christ has called us. Through the intercession of Mary we receive the grace to keep our eyes on the Lord and on the path he love leads us on.

The achievement is completed with the external ornaments that are a gold (yellow) processional cross, that extends above and below the shield, and for Bishop Kelly is charged with the interlocking Irish knot-like loops, in red, to honor the Most Holy Trinity, and to recall his formation for priesthood at the seminary of that name on the campus of the University of Dallas in Irving, TX; There is also a pontifical hat, called a galero, with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See, of March 1969.

Text and Coat of Arms by: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan