Joseph John Gerry

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Joseph J. Gerry, O.S.B.
Bishop Emeritus of Portland
Bishop Joseph Gerry Saint Anselm College Commencement.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
AppointedDecember 21, 1988
InstalledFebruary 21, 1989
Term endedFebruary 10, 2004
PredecessorEdward Cornelius O'Leary
SuccessorRichard Joseph Malone
OrdinationJune 12, 1954
by Matthew Francis Brady
ConsecrationApril 21, 1986
by Odore Joseph Gendron, Ernest John Primeau, and Robert Edward Mulvee
Personal details
Born (1928-09-12) September 12, 1928 (age 90)
Millinocket, Maine
Previous postAuxiliary Bishop of Manchester (1986-1988)

Joseph John Gerry, O.S.B., (born September 12, 1928) is an American Benedictine monk and prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the Bishop of Portland from 1989 to 2004.


Gerry was born in Millinocket, Maine, and graduated from George W. Stearns High School in 1945. He then entered St. Anselm Abbey in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and made his profession of religious vows as a monk of that monastery on July 2, 1948, following his novitiate at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Anselm College in 1950, and completed his theological studies at the abbey.[1]

On June 12, 1954, Gerry was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Matthew Francis Brady, at St. Joseph's Cathedral.[2] He earned a Master of Arts in philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1955, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University in 1959.[3] From 1958 to 1986, he was professor of philosophy and humanities at Saint Anselm College. He was named sub-prior (1959) and later prior (1963) of the abbey, becoming its third abbot on January 6, 1972. At the college, he also served as academic dean (1971–72) and chancellor (1972–1986).[1]

On February 4, 1986, Gerry was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester and Titular Bishop of Praecausa by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 21 from Bishop Odore Joseph Gendron, with Bishops Ernest John Primeau and Robert Edward Mulvee serving as co-consecrators. In February 1988 he was elected moderator of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Gerry was named the tenth Bishop of Portland, Maine, on December 27, 1988, and was installed at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on February 21, 1989.[2]

Joseph Hall, on the campus of Saint Anselm College is named after Bishop Gerry

During his 15-year-long tenure, he published a pastoral letter approximately once a year, treating such topics as vocations to the ministry, the sacrament of Confirmation, and human sexuality. He consolidated parishes in Old Town, Lisbon, and Waterville. He publicly opposed partial-birth abortion and physician-assisted suicide in state referenda in 1999 and 2000 respectively. He opened St. Dominic Regional High School in 2002.[4]

Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, Gerry submitted his letter of resignation to John Paul II in September 2003.[5] His resignation was accepted on February 10, 2004, and he was succeeded by Richard Joseph Malone.[2] Gerry then retired to St. Anselm Abbey.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Most Rev. Joseph J. Gerry, O.S.B., D.D." Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Joseph John Gerry, O.S.B."
  3. ^ "Pope Accepts Resignations of Bishop Gerry of Portland and Auxiliary Bishop Wirz of Madison; Bishop Richard Malone Named to Maine Diocese". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2004-02-10.
  4. ^ "History of the Portland Diocese". Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
  5. ^ a b "Our Bishops". Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Edward Cornelius O'Leary
Bishop of Portland
Succeeded by
Richard Joseph Malone
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester
Succeeded by