Galveston-Houston Archdiocese Mourns Death of Retired Auxiliary Bishop Sheltz

At the time of his retirement, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo thanked Bishop Sheltz for more than 50 years of service as a priest and bishop, and recalled “his calm, insightful manner, and dry sense of humor” in overseeing various administrative operations of the archdiocese.

Bishop George A. Sheltz.
Bishop George A. Sheltz. (photo: Courtesy photo / Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston)

HOUSTON — Bishop George Sheltz, an auxiliary bishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, died Tuesday at age 75. 

“It is with deep sorrow the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston reports that retired Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz, 75, passed away this evening,” said a Dec. 21 statement from the archdiocese. “A native Houstonian, Bishop Sheltz dedicated his life to the Lord for more than 50 years as a priest in his home diocese.”

“Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and the Archdiocese asks the faithful to pray for the family of Bishop Sheltz and his eternal rest,” said the statement. 

A cause of death was not released. 

Born and raised in Houston, Bishop Sheltz discerned a vocation to the priesthood in high school. Following graduation, he entered the city’s St. Mary’s Seminary. Bishop Sheltz was ordained a priest of the then-diocese on May 15, 1971, at the age of 25.

As a priest, he was assigned to six parishes and was given the title “monsignor” by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000. 

Beginning in 2010, Bishop Sheltz oversaw administrative operations in the archdiocese as vicar general, chancellor, and moderator of the curia. He was named as an auxiliary bishop for his hometown diocese on Feb. 21, 2012.

After his 75th birthday on April 20, 2021, Bishop Sheltz submitted his resignation to Pope Francis, as required by canon law. His resignation was accepted June 22.

At the time of his retirement, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo thanked Bishop Sheltz for more than 50 years of service as a priest and bishop, and recalled “his calm, insightful manner, and dry sense of humor” in overseeing various administrative operations of the archdiocese. 

“I am grateful for his friendship, counsel, and boundless commitment to the local faithful; his knowledge and love of his home diocese has always been evident in his words and actions,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo in June. 

Bishop Sheltz came from a family that has served the archdiocese for generations.

His father, Deacon George Sheltz, Sr., was in the first class of permanent deacons ordained for the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1972. 

His brother, the late Father Anton Sheltz, was ordained a priest in 1976. His uncle, Msgr. Anton Frank, was the first native Houstonian to be ordained a priest for the diocese.

When he was appointed bishop, Bishop Sheltz heaped praise on his archdiocese. 

 “This archdiocese has been my home my entire life and it is a joy and privilege to pledge my continued service to the wonderful people of Galveston-Houston who have been my brothers and sisters in faith these many years,” he said. 

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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