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East Texans watch as new Bishop is ordained

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TYLER (KYTX) - People from all walks of faith are celebrating after an East Texan is ordained as the next Bishop of the Diocese in Tyler.

Bishop Joseph Strickland had quite the fan base before he walked through the doors at Caldwell Auditorium Wednesday.

"It's a real honor for someone in our parish and our own East Texas become a Bishop, real honor," says Janie Boyd.

"It's been an incredible blessing and great grace. Tremendous job, but i know with the love and support of these people and by the grace of God, I will do my best to fulfill the responsibilities," says Bishop Joseph Strickland.

Nearly 1,800 people watched as he was ordained, from prayer to anointment.

A process that started when the Pope himself named Strickland as a Bishop in September.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a bishop ordination," says T.K. Gorman senior Milan Chaump.

It took a lot of hands and work to put the ceremony together. For the more than 1,000 people who sat in the seats, it was a chance to see Bishop Strickland become the fourth Bishop in the Diocese of Tyler, and the first East Texan.

"As I looked across the crowd of 1,000 plus people, it amazed me to realize, I know virtually all of them," says Bishop Strickland.

"I tried not to cry," says 10-year-old Reagan Stafford.

She and her family know the Bishop.

"We know him and he cooked in our kitchen and he's nice," says Stafford.

"Bishop Joe was our chaplain at school, so I was at daily mass with him every morning," says Chaump.

A special moment for East Texans, no matter their relationship with the newly appointed Bishop.

"I felt like I was right up there. Nothing I've ever seen before," says Boyd.

Bishop Strickland first began serving the East Texas area in 1985, becoming a priest of the newly named Diocese of Tyler in 1987 and working closely in the community since.

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