DALLAS – It was a day for giving thanks.

On Thursday, Pittsburgh native Edward Burns officially became the eighth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

Bishop Burns comes from Juneau, Alaska, where the 59-year-old led a diocese of 10,000. Dallas has 1.3 million members.

“I cannot stand here and say this isn’t my first rodeo,” he said before a standing room only crowd at the Cathedral Guadalupe downtown. “I’ve never been to a rodeo, let alone be in one.”

He succeeds Cardinal Kevin Farrell who helped to transform the Diocese of Dallas and had a deep connection with the Hispanic community which makes up more than half the diocese. Farrell was among the three cardinals who took part in the mass.

“I pledge that with God’s good grace I will do the best in shepherding this local church,” he said.

To do that – he’s going to learn to speak Spanish.

“Si, mi Español es no bueno,” he said.

More than 50 catholic bishops and several hundred priests, plus deacons from throughout Texas and across the country also attended. Bishop Burns’ family filled the first pew, including his mom.

And staying true to his outgoing personality, Bishop Burns made a few jokes.

“I have to say, there was a day that I would receive a note from my mother in order to show it to the teacher,” he quipped. Well today I have a note from the Pope to show my mother.”