LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For John Smothers, Christ the King Cathedral holds a special place in his heart.
"I've been a member of Christ the King since 1957. My wife and I both went to school here, Christ the King grade school and through high school....and they used to, when it rained, the priests would put planks out and we would walk from Quaker on the planks to get over here," says Smothers.
He hopes to see growth and progress not only within his home church, but for the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock as well, which is a sentiment Phillip Houchin, another parishioner of Christ the King, agrees with.
"It's super important to me. We are welcoming the leader of our Diocese, who will most likely be our leader over the next decade, or two. And we, as Christian Catholics, look to our Bishop to lead us, you know, throughout this large area of west Texas," Houchin says.
Both Smothers and Houchin say while they have great respect for outgoing Bishop, Placido Rodriguez, who served the diocese of Lubbock for 22 years, they hope to see Bishop Coerver's reach touch all 25 counties he now serves.
"There's a huge push right now in the Diocese for Catholic students. There's 10,000 some odd Catholic students at Texas Tech and we're in the process of building a new student center at St. Elizabeth's. He's very interested in making the students feel like they're part of this diocese and that they are respected - and that's where our future lies, so we're excited about that, that he really wants to embrace them," Smothers says.
"Just the leadership, the guidance as he shepherds us as his flock over the course of the time that he will be our Bishop. And you know, it's my guess that Bishop Coerver will be our Bishop to his retirement, or selection for a higher calling," Houchin says.