Merlin Guilfoyle

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Styles of
Merlin Guilfoyle
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

Merlin Joseph Guilfoyle (July 15, 1908 – November 20, 1981) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Stockton from 1969 to 1979.


Merlin Guilfoyle was born in San Francisco, California, to John Joseph and Teresa (née Bassity) Guilfoyle.[1] His parents' San Francisco home was destroyed in the April 1906 earthquake. Prior to Merlin's birth they returned to San Francisco from two years in Oakland. He attended St. James Boys' School in San Francisco from 1914 to 1922, and St. Joseph's College in Mountain View from 1922 to 1927.

He then studied (1927-1933) at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1933.[2] In 1937, he earned a Doctor of Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.[1] He became a Domestic Prelate in 1949, and was co-founder and chaplain of St. Thomas More Society.

On August 24, 1950, Guilfoyle was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco and Titular Bishop of Bulla by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 21 from Archbishop John Joseph Mitty, with Bishops James Joseph Sweeney and Hugh Aloysius Donohoe serving as co-consecrators. In addition to his duties as bishop, he served as rector of Mission San Francisco de Asís (1950-1969) and military vicar of armed forces for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Dioceses of Monterey-Fresno, Sacramento, Reno, and Salt Lake City.[1]

After Bishop Hugh Donohoe was transferred to the Diocese of Fresno, Guilfoyle was named the second Bishop of Stockton by Pope Paul VI on November 12, 1969.[2] He remained as bishop for ten years, resigning on September 4, 1979. He died two years later, aged 73.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Merlin Joseph Guilfoyle". [self-published source]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Hugh Aloysius Donohoe
Bishop of Stockton
Succeeded by
Roger Mahony