Sheryl Collmer, who personally knew Bishop Strickland as a member of his flock, has penned a lovely article on the Crisis Magazine site painting a portrait of a pastor who is indeed a good shepherd: Twilight in Tyler — “Many of us heard the voice of a shepherd in Bishop Strickland and moved to Tyler, Texas in response. It’s a gut punch to lose him now.”
I have a cousin who lives in Tyler and who knew “Father Joe” as her parish priest years before he became bishop. My cousin’s opinion of her now former shepherd is in agreement with Sheryl Collmer’s. Not a CEO, not a CFO, not a bureaucrat, nor a bon vivant fleecing his flock, but a shepherd who knew the “smell of the sheep,” to use an expression. The man is very loved by the faithful of his diocese.
Here is an excellent interview, wherein Bishop Strickland speaks for himself. Worth watching: