Pope Francis appoints Clearwater priest to serve as a bishop

Monsignor David Toups

CLEARWATER — On June 9, Pope Francis announced that Monsignor David Toups, 49, has been named a bishop and his first assignment will be bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas. He currently serves as rector of the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, a position he’s held since 2012.

“You are an inspiration to me and I will continue to count upon your prayers and friendship for many years to come,” Toups said in a letter to the faithful of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. “As I depart for my new mission in Texas, the beautiful and indelible memories of my life here cannot be erased by locale. Many family and friends are still here and so I look forward to visits back to this great diocese.”

Toups moved to Clearwater when he was a teenager and he attended Clearwater Central Catholic High School, where he was active in sports and student council. He thought he would pursue a career as a lawyer, but God had other plans for his life. In his second year of college, he experienced God calling him to be a priest. He was ordained a priest in 1997 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg.

Locally, he served as pastor of Christ the King Parish in Tampa and associate pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Spring Hill. He has also served with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., as the associate director of the secretariat for clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

“This news gives us great joy,” said Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. “He is a faithful, joyful, and prayerful priest whom the Lord has now called to even greater service in the Church. While we are sorry to see Bishop-Elect Toups leave our diocese, I am confident that his ministry as shepherd of the Diocese of Beaumont will be a blessing to the priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful there. We congratulate Bishop-Elect Toups on this appointment and assure him of our prayers during this time of transition.”

Toups graduated from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami. He also earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from The Angelicum, a Dominican University in Rome.