The appointment was publicized in Washington on February 15 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
“I wish to thank the Holy Father for his generosity in appointing a second auxiliary bishop to us. The pope and the nuncio both appreciate and recognize the rapid growth taking place in this part of south-central Texas, and the state as a whole,” said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller. “Just last week I formally proclaimed the establishment of St. José Sánchez del Rio Church on the city’s north side. This is the second new parish we have established in the past three years, and we are in need of several new churches in our area to accommodate the increasing numbers of people moving here.”
Father Janak was born in El Campo on March 22, 1962, living for six years in Eagle Lake before moving to Palacios, which is his hometown. He was the third of four children born to Josephat “Joe” and Rose Marie Janak. His father died of brain cancer in 1998.
Father Janak says his Czech heritage has provided a great grounding force for him, in terms of his faith and the call to be connected to God, family, and service to God’s Church.
He was raised in Palacios, a multi-lingual and multi-ethnic community, and graduated in 1980 from Palacios High School. He then attended Wharton County Junior College for one year before transferring to the University of Texas. In 1982, he entered Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Santa Fe, N.M., as one of the first five seminarians for the newly formed Diocese of Victoria. In 1983 he received his bachelor’s degree in History and began his theological formation at Assumption Seminary in 1984. He later obtained his Master of Divinity Degree from Oblate School of Theology in 1998.
Father Janak was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Victoria on May 14, 1988. He later earned his Licentiate in Canonical Jurisprudence (JCL) from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1995; his master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Victoria-Houston in 1997, and has been licensed by the state of Texas as a professional counselor supervisor since 2000. His pastoral experience in the Victoria Diocese includes assignments as parochial vicar of The Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory from 1988 to 1990, priest in residence of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Victoria from 1990 to 1994, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Yoakum from 1994 to 2003, pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Church in El Campo from 2003 to 2013, parochial administrator of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Nada and St. John Parish in New Taiton in January 2006, and his most recent assignment as rector of the cathedral since 2013. Canonical and other official appointments in the diocese include serving as judge and advocate in the Marriage Tribunal from 1988 to present; defender of the bond for the appellate court for the dioceses of Texas in 1993; director of the Permanent Diaconate Program from 1990 to 1995; vice-chancellor from 1995 to 2012; vocation director and director of seminarians from 1990 to 1996; member of the diocesan Review Board from 2002 to present; diocesan co-coordinator of Pastoral Care and Outreach from 2004 to 2016; vicar forane for the El Campo Deanery from 2007 to 2013; member of the College of Consultors from 1993 to 1999 and from 2007 to present; member of the diocesan Presbyteral Council from 1993 to 1999, 2004 to 2006, and 2007 to present; member of the consultors for the diocesan Pastors Committee from 2002 to 2014; and member of the Board of Directors for the Priests’ Pension Program from 2005 to 2011.
Father Janak was elected to be administrator of the Diocese of Victoria from April 27, 2015 to June 29, 2015. He served following the retirement of Bishop Emeritus David Fellhauer and prior to the episcopal ordination of Bishop Brendan Cahill. Currently, Father Janak is a member of the Priest Personnel Board and the diocesan Finance Board, in addition to his duties as chancellor and vicar general.
He is a member of the Canon Law Society of America and the American Counseling Society. His community involvement has encompassed a myriad of organizations. He was a member of the Board of Hospice of South Texas in 1994; state spiritual director for the Czech Catholic Union of Texas (KJT) from 1995-1998; chaplain for Knights of Columbus councils in Victoria, Yoakum, and El Campo; and member of the Board of Trustees for St. Joseph Catholic High School in Victoria from 2014-2018.
Presently, he is chaplain for the Victoria Police Department and state chaplain for KJZT Family Life. In addition to his parish and chancery ministry, Father Janak has served on a number of occasions since 1988 at a mission in Nicaragua and with the Faith in Practice Medical Mission team in Guatemala.
Father Janak also has a keen interest in assisting married couples and has been a presenting priest for the Retrouvaille ministry since 2006. He also designed a marriage retreat for couples entitled Choosing to Live Our Vows Everyday (LOVE). In 2016, he assisted in the founding of The Emmaus Center, a diocesan-sponsored counseling and spiritual direction center, where he practices professional and pastoral counseling. His hobbies include reading about spirituality, marriage enrichment and psychology; writing; running; biking; and paddle boarding.