Lawrence Donald Soens
Lawrence D. Soens, DD
|Bishop of Sioux City|
|In office||June 15, 1983 – November 28, 1998|
|Predecessor||Frank Henry Greteman|
|Ordination||May 6, 1950|
|Consecration||August 17, 1983
by James Joseph Byrne
August 26, 1926|
Iowa City, Iowa
|Ordination history of Lawrence Donald Soens|
|Principal consecrator||James Joseph Byrne|
|Date of consecration||August 17, 1983|
|Bishops consecrated by Lawrence Donald Soens as principal consecrator|
|Daniel DiNardo||October 7, 1997|
Early life & Ministry
Lawrence Soens was born in Iowa City, Iowa on August 26, 1926. He was educated at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Saint Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa and studied for the priesthood at Kenrick Seminary near Saint Louis, Missouri. He also completed graduate studies at the University of Iowa.
He was ordained a priest on May 6, 1950 for the Diocese of Davenport. He was engaged in both academic and pastoral work in the diocese as a priest. Soens' first assignment was as an assistant pastor at St. Paul's Church in Burlington. He then joined the faculty of St. Ambrose Academy in Davenport and then became the assistant pastor at St. Bridget's Church in Victor. Soen's next assignment was as director of Regina High School in Iowa City. He went on to become the rector of St. Ambrose Seminary and served on the faculty of St. Ambrose College in Davenport. His next assignment was as pastor at Assumption Church in Charlotte and St. Patrick in Villa Nova. He was pastor at St. Mary's Church in Clinton when Blessed John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor, with the title of Monsignor on December 18, 1981.
Bishop of Sioux City
On June 15, 1983 Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Soens as the fifth bishop of Sioux City. He was ordained a bishop and installed on August 17, 1983 at the Cathedral of the Ephiphany by Archbishop James Joseph Byrne. Bishops Gerald Francis O'Keefe of Davenport and Frank Henry Greteman Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City were the principal co-consecrators. While he was bishop of the diocese many programs were established or expanded including: Ministry 2000, the Priests Retirement Fund, youth ministry programs and the diocese mandated parish pastoral and finance commissions.
In 1997 Soens requested a coadjutor bishop be named and on August 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Daniel DiNardo from the Diocese of Piitsburgh. Bishop Soens resignation as Bishop of Sioux City was accepted by the Holy See on November 28, 1998, and he was named Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City. Under his reign several ethnic churches were closed, displacing hundreds of parishioners.
After his resignation as bishop of Sioux City he was accused of fondling as many as 15 students during his tenure as principal at Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City during the 1960s. Soens denies the allegations. However, numerous allegations continue and the actual number of students who say he abused them has risen.
- Bunson, Matthew (2010). 2010 Catholic Almanac. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor. p. 414.
- "Seven priests celebrate jubilees". The Catholic Globe. 2004-04-14. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- Diocese of Sioux City History, www.scdiocese.org