Laurence Julius FitzSimon

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Laurence Julius FitzSimon (January 31, 1895 – July 2, 1958) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Amarillo from 1941 until his death in 1958.


Laurence FitzSimon was born in San Antonio, Texas, to John and Theodora (née Okelmann) FitzSimon.[1] He and his family moved to Castroville the following year.[1] He attended St. Anthony's College in San Antonio from 1907 until 1911, when he was sent to further his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.[2] In 1916 he was forced to return to Texas due to poor health.[1] After recuperating, he served in the United States Navy during World War I.[2] He later resumed his theological studies in 1919 at St. Meinrad's Seminary in Indiana.[1]

FitzSimon was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1921.[3] He then taught at St. John's Seminary in San Antonio for four years, when he became pastor of Runge.[1] He was later transferred to Kenedy and then to Seguin in 1932.[1] He also served as chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Antonio from 1932 to 1941.[2]

On August 1, 1941, FitzSimon was appointed the third Bishop of Amarillo by Pope Pius XII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 22 from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, with Bishops Mariano Simon Garriga and Sidney Matthew Metzger serving as co-consecrators.[3] He was later installed at Amarillo on November 5, 1941.[3] During his 17-year-long tenure, the number of churches, priests, schools, and institutions in the diocese more than doubled.[1] In 1951 he became the first American to receive the title of Chanoine d'Honneur from Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier.[1]

FitzSimon died at St. Anthony's Hospital in Amarillo, aged 63. He is buried in Llano Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "FITZSIMON, LAURENCE JULIUS (1895-1958)". Texas State Historical Association. 
  2. ^ a b c Curtis, Georgina Pell (1947). The American Catholic Who's Who. VII. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Laurence Julius FitzSimon". 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert Emmet Lucey
Bishop of Amarillo
Succeeded by
John Louis Morkovsky