René Henry Gracida

Religious Leader

1923 –


Who is René Henry Gracida?

Bishop René Henry Gracida was the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Miami, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. As auxiliary bishop of Miami he had the honorific Titular Bishop of Masuccaba.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Gracida was the second child of Enrique J. Gracida Carrizosa, an architect and engineer of Mexican descent, and Mathilde Derbes, a fifth-generation French-American. He was a tail-gunner in the 303rd Hell's Angels in World War II. After the war he attended Rice University, the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and the University of Houston, where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture. He later attended St. Vincent College and St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. At St. Vincent Seminary, he earned a Masters of Divinity. In 1978 he was granted a Doctor of Laws from St. Leo College.

Gracida was ordained a priest on May 23, 1959, when he was 36 years old. In 1971 he was appointed by Pope Paul VI as Auxiliary Bishop of Miami and was consecrated on January 25, 1972 as Titular Bishop of Masuccaba by Cardinal John Francis Dearden of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Archbishop Coleman Carroll of the Archdiocese of Miami, and Bishop Paul Francis Tanner of the Diocese of St. Augustine. He was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee on October 1, 1975 and installed on November 6, 1975. On May 19, 1983 Pope John Paul II appointed him as the bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, where he remained until his resignation at 73, earlier than the mandatory resignation age of 75, was accepted by the same Pope on April 1, 1997.

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Jun 9, 1923
New Orleans
  • Catholicism
  • United States of America
  • Saint Vincent College
  • Rice University

on July 23, 2013


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