On Saturday 23 December 2023, Pope Francis appointed a new bishop for the diocese of Litoměřice (Czech Republic). The 21st Bishop of Litoměřice will be the Redemptorist Fr. Stanislav Přibyl CSsR, current Secretary General of the Czech Episcopal Conference and administrator of the Horní Police pilgrimage site in the diocese of Litoměřice. The new bishop will begin his office on March 2, 2024, when he will also receive episcopal consecration.
The news of the new bishop was announced on December 23 in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Litoměřice in the presence of the current bishop of Litoměřice, Jan Baxant, priests and faithful by the Counselor of the Apostolic Nunciature in the Czech Republic, Msgr. Giuseppe Silvestrini, who represented the Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic, Jude Thaddeus Okol. He participated in the Holy Mass celebrated for the victims of the tragedy at the Faculty of Letters of Charles University in Prague Cathedral.
The new bishop of Litoměřice, Stanislav Přibyl, said: “Many things happened between the appointment and the announcement. First of all, the tragic events at the Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University, where I am a doctoral student, therefore, affect me very closely. In the Uffizi Gallery in Florence there is a painting of the Nativity of the Lord by a Dutch master. The figures, who are in the darkness, bend over Baby Jesus, who shines. He is perhaps a symbol of this Christmas, marked by so much darkness of violence, pain and sadness. He is the one who brings the light, Jesus is the Light and he is the keeper of the light, he is small, but this little spark ignites a great light. This light, however, spreads from God to man and from man to man, perhaps lighting each other’s candles. Jesus is the God of comfort who became man so he could look me in the eyes… and me in the eyes. Is there anything more comforting than being able to look into the eyes of someone who loves me?” Fr. Stanislav Pribyl said, adding: “I learned of my appointment on the third Sunday of Advent. I am happy and at the same time full of amazement that God has looked at me in a mission of such responsibility. Today’s announcement of the appointment can therefore be seen as a Christmas present: it is certainly a great gift for me and, I hope, for the entire diocese, with which I fell in love 15 years ago when I arrived in Litoměřice as vicar general. To God, I want to express my gratitude for the trust in Pope Francis and in Msgr. John Baxant, my predecessor, for his ministry. I look to those who will be entrusted to me: I am here with you and I am here for you!.”
Monsignor Stanislav Pribyl CSsR was born on 16 November 1971 in Prague – Strasnice. He graduated from the Secondary School of Geodesy. After graduating from high school, he entered the Redemptorist novitiate of Lubaszowa, Poland (1990-1991) and subsequently took religious vows in the Redemptorist Congregation. From 1991 to 1996 he studied at the Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University and simultaneously completed his education at the Archbishop’s Seminary in Prague. After his priestly ordination in 1996, he was parish vicar in Svatá Hora (1996-1999) and parish priest (1999-2008). From 2002 to 2011, he held the position of Provincial of the Redemptorist Province of Prague.
In 2004, he became president of the Archdiocesan Charity of Prague. He served until the end of 2008. In the same year he was appointed member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Prague. In 2012, he obtained a licentiate in theology from the Catholic Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague and in 2014 a doctorate in theology from the same university. In 2019, he received his Master’s degree in Finance and Management from the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. He currently studies Art History at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of Charles University, with particular attention to the personality of the third archbishop of Prague, John of Jenštejn.
From 2009 to 2016, he was vicar general of the diocese of Litoměřice. Since 1st October 2016 he has been general secretary of the Czech Episcopal Conference; heads the secretariat of this organization, which represents the activities of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic and speaks on its behalf in the media.
Among his favorite activities are music, especially playing the organ, and photography. He communicates at various levels in Polish, German, English, Italian and French.
The diocese of Litoměřice was established by a bull of Pope Alexander VII dated 3 July 1655 and was detached from the territory of the Archdiocese of Prague. It covers an area of 9,393 km², has 10 vicariates, 384 parishes and 1,265 attached churches and chapels. The twentieth bishop of the diocese since 2008 is Jan Baxant, who reached the canonical age of 75 on 8 October 2023 and renounced the office of resident bishop in favor of the Pope.
We ask you to pray for our brother – the new bishop of the diocese of Litoměřice!
(source: cirkev.cz / redemptoristi.sk)