Gilbert Sheldon (Bishop of Steubenville)

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Gilbert Ignatius Sheldon
Bishop Emeritus of Steubenville
Gilbert Ignatius Sheldon 1998.JPG
Gilbert Ignatius Sheldon in 1998
Archdiocese Cincinnati
Diocese Steubenville
Appointed January 28, 1992
Installed April 2, 1992
Term ended May 31, 2002
Predecessor Albert Henry Ottenweller
Successor Robert Daniel Conlon
Ordination February 28, 1953
by Edward Francis Hoban
Consecration June 11, 1976
by James Aloysius Hickey, Joseph Bernardin, and Clarence George Issenmann
Personal details
Born (1926-09-20) September 20, 1926 (age 90)
Cleveland, Ohio
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland
Motto Fortes in fide
Styles of
Gilbert Ignatius Sheldon
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Gilbert Ignatius Sheldon (born September 20, 1926) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the third Bishop of Steubenville between 1992 and 2002, having previously served as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland from 1976 to 1992.

Early life and education[edit]

Sheldon was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one of 12 children of Ignatius Peter and Stephania Josephine (née Olszewski) Solinski-Sheldon.[1] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Phillip Neri Church, and then attended Cathedral Latin High School.[1] He studied at John Carroll University before beginning his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.[1] He also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ohio Consortium of Seminaries.[1]


Sheldon was ordained a priest by Archbishop Edward F. Hoban on February 28, 1953.[2] Between 1953 and 1964, he served as an associate pastor at St. Rose's Church in Cleveland, St. Clare's Church in Lyndhurst, and SS. Philip and James Church in Cleveland.[1] He was diocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1964 to 1974.[1]

From 1974 to 1976, Sheldon served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Oberlin and episcopal vicar of Lorain County.[1] He also served as chaplain at Magnificat High School, for Serra West, and of the West Park Knights of Columbus.[1] He was a notary and prosynodal judge for the diocesan tribunal, instructor at St. John's College, and member of the Board of Trustess for St. Mary's Seminary and for Borromeo College.[1]



On April 12, 1976, Sheldon was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland and Titular Bishop of Taparura by Pope Paul VI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 11 from Bishop James A. Hickey, with Archbishop Joseph Bernardin and Bishop Clarence G. Issenmann serving as co-consecrators.[2] As an auxiliary bishop, he was named vicar for Marriage and Family Concerns (1976) and vicar of Summit County (1978).[1] In 1979, he became vicar of the Southern Region of the diocese, including Summit, Medina, Wayne, and Ashland Counties.[3]

Sheldon was director of missions when the Diocese of Cleveland became the only Catholic diocese in the United States to sponsor a mission in El Salvador.[3] That mission gained notice in the early 1980s when members of the Salvadoran National Guard abducted, raped, and killed two of its female members, Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missionary Jean Donovan, as well as two nuns from New York City.[3] Sheldon faced public controversy in 1984 when he asserted authority over the Bread of Life Community, a religious group which was accused of cultlike practices.[3] After an investigation, he chastised the group for unequal treatment of female members and for its doctrines; the group's official ecclesiastical authorization was withdrawn in 1985.[3]


On January 28, 1992, Sheldon was appointed the Bishop of Steubenville by Pope John Paul II.[2] As bishop, he presided over the newest and most sparsely populated of Ohio's six Catholic dioceses.[3]

Later life[edit]

After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, Sheldon resigned as Bishop of Steubenville on May 31, 2002.[2] He was succeeded by Father Robert Daniel Conlon, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Most Reverend Gilbert I. Sheldon". Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville. Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Gilbert Ignatius Sheldon". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Haferd, Laura (1992-01-29). "NO MORE BISHOP; AKRON'S GILBERT SHELDON IS NAMED TO TAKE OVER STEUBENVILLE DIOCESE". Akron Beacon Journal. 

External Links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Albert Henry Ottenweller
Bishop of Steubenville
Succeeded by
Robert Daniel Conlon
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland
Succeeded by