Bishop, Diocese of Beaumont, Texas
Ten years ago when I first moved to Miami, I received an email from a seminarian at St. Vincent DePaul Seminary ninety minutes north in Boynton Beach. “If you’re new to South Florida, I think you need to come meet our rector,” he wrote. “He has the ability to make things happen.” Maybe it wasn't quite in those words, but that was the sentiment. And it was true. Mgsr. David Toups was a charismatic leader who clearly had a warm, personable relationship with his students and his faculty and was able to harness their energy toward a shared vision.
When Mgsr. Toups was made bishop of Beaumont, Texas in 2020, I was not surprised that he’d be chosen for an episcopal role, but Beaumont was a very different setting than West Palm Beach. Nestled in the eastern most corner of the state of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico, Beaumont has been an area hard hit by the rise and fall of the oil industry. It has also been an area hard hit by climate change--as evidenced by the catastrophic back-to-back Hurricanes Laura and Delta that hit just as Bishop Toups reached the diocese in August of that year.
As you’ll hear in our interview, however, Bishop David Toups, has taken delight in this new role. While the responsibility he feels as a “shepherd” weighs on him, he finds that old friendships and family relationships and a regular practice of personal prayer help keep him humble and self aware.