This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
Pope Praises Bishop Seitz: Pope Francis singled out El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz as an effective pastoral leader in an interview published this week. The pontiff was interviewed by America Magazine, a publication from his Jesuit order. The interview covered a variety of topics, including the war in Ukraine, political polarization in the United States and the performance of U.S. bishops. In responding to a question about U.S. Catholic views on the country’s bishops, Pope Francis pointed to Seitz as an example of strong leadership of a diocese. Francis appointed Seitz as El Paso’s bishop in 2013, two months after his election as pope.
“Permit me to mention a bishop about whom I do not know if he is conservative, or if he is progressive, if he is of the right or of the left, but he is a good pastor: Seitz, on the border with Mexico. He is a man who grasps all the contradictions of that place and carries them forward as a pastor. I do not say the others are not good, but this is one I know.”
Francis also praised Seitz in 2020 after he became the first U.S. bishop to publicly kneel in protest of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The pope called the bishop to thank him for his words and actions opposing racism.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Teams: The Sun Bowl Association this weekend will announce the two teams that will play at the 2022 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl. The announcement event is from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, 1200 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, New Mexico, and is open to the public. This year’s game is slated for noon on Friday, Dec. 30, at the Sun Bowl. Tickets start at $22. The game will be televised live on CBS. The annual game, now in its 89th year, features teams from the ACC and Pac 12, with most expecting Louisville and Oregon State to be selected. Events leading up to the big game include the WestStar Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational basketball tournament Dec. 21-22 with Kent State, New Mexico State, North Carolina A&T and UTEP; the Sun Bowl Fiesta from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Convention Center Plaza in Downtown; and the pre-game fan party from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 30 at Glory Field on the UTEP campus. Information: sunbowl.org
YWCA Names New CEO: Sereka Barlow, who was named interim CEO for the YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region in the summer, was named CEO on Nov. 17. She has more than 25 years of experience in health care and organizational leadership and most recently served as chief operations officer for the Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus. In 2017, after 20 years of service, Barlow retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army. She was also the former COO at William Beaumont Army Medical Center.