Paul Loverde

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Paul Stephen Loverde
Bishop Emeritus of Arlington
Church Catholic Church
Archdiocese Baltimore
Diocese Arlington
Appointed January 25, 1999
Installed March 25, 1999
Term ended October 4, 2016
Predecessor John R. Keating
Successor Michael F. Burbidge
Other posts Apostolic Administrator for Arlington
Ordination December 18, 1965
by Francis F. Reh
Consecration April 12, 1988
by John F. Whealon, Francis Frederick Reh, and Daniel Patrick Reilly
Personal details
Born (1940-09-03) September 3, 1940 (age 76)
Framingham, Massachusetts
Previous post
2 Timothy 4:2[1]
Styles of
Paul Stephen Loverde
Coat of arms of Paul Stephen Loverde.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Paul Stephen Loverde (born September 3, 1940) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and the retired bishop of the Diocese of Arlington in Northern Virginia.


Early life and education[edit]

Paul Loverde was born on September 3, 1940 in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Paul and Ann Marie (née Conti) Loverde.[2] Loverde received his secondary school education at La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island, followed by an education at Saint Bernard Seminary College in Rochester, New York. Loverde graduated with a B.A. (summa cum laude) in 1962 and was chosen to study in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Loverde earned his Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) there in 1966.

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Loverde was ordained a priest December 18, 1965 at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by Bishop Francis F. Reh, who was rector at the Pontifical North American College.[3] After completing his studies in Rome in 1966, he returned to the United States and began serving in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut. He served in a variety of capacities within the Diocese, including assistant pastor at St. Sebastian Church in Middletown and religion teacher at various high schools. He was also campus chaplain at Wesleyan University, Connecticut College, and Eastern Connecticut State University[4] and Instructor of Canon Law at Holy Apostles Seminary.[5] In 1982, Loverde received a Licentiate of Canon Law (J.C.L.) from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.[6]

Auxiliary Bishop of Hartford, Connecticut[edit]

In 1988, Pope John Paul II named Loverde Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford and Titular Bishop of Octavia. He was consecrated on April 12, 1988 by Archbishop John F. Whealon at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.[7] He chose his episcopal motto, "Encourage and Teach with Patience," (2 Timothy 4:2) from Second Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy, expressing his belief that, as Bishop, it is "his duty and calling by God to encourage and teach the faith to those who need it, with the gentle patience that each of God's children may need."[1]

Bishop of Ogdensburg, New York[edit]

Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Loverde eleventh Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, New York in 1993, and he was installed at the Cathedral of St. Mary on January 17, 1994.[7] While in Ogdensburg, he started vocation and evangelization initiatives. In 1999, he closed Mater Dei College in Oswegatchie.[8] From 1997–1999, he was State Chaplain of the New York Knights of Columbus.[7]

Bishop of Arlington, Virginia[edit]

After the sudden death in Rome of Bishop John Keating in March 1998, from heart attack during his ad limina visit,[9] Pope John Paul II appointed Loverde the third Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, where he was installed on March 25, 1999, at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.[7] Since coming to Arlington he has emphasized vocations — in his first 10 years, he ordained 38 men to the priesthood, reinstated the permanent diaconate program, and allowed seminarians to study at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Pontifical College Josephinum, and The Catholic University of America. He also has been supportive of religious orders coming into the Diocese, such as the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and Cloistered Dominicans.[10]

Loverde is currently on the Board of Directors for the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, The Catholic University of America, the Catholic Distance University, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He previously served on the board of Christ the King Seminary and Mount St. Mary's University. Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he was chair of the Committee on Vocations from 1995 to 1998 and was a member of the Administrative Committee from 2004 to 2008.[6] Since becoming Bishop of Arlington, Loverde has won a number of awards, including the Catholic Distance University's Founder's Award for his service to the university in 2010[11] and the Saint Luke Institute's Saint Luke Award in 2012.[12] In 2012, a Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred upon him by the Institute for the Psychological Sciences.[13]

Pope Francis accepted Loverde's retirement on October 4, 2016 and appointed Michael F. Burbidge as his successor.[14]

Altar girls[edit]

In 2006 Loverde permitted, at the discretion of the local pastor, female altar servers in parishes and high school communities in the diocese for the first time.[15] Prior to this, Arlington was one of two dioceses in the United States to retain the traditional practice of allowing boys only to serve at the altar in local parishes.[15][16] Loverde had sent a dubium about the altar girl matter to the Holy See's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.[citation needed] The congregation responded that while bishops may allow female laity to serve at the altar, pastors and priests cannot be compelled to use them.[17]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John R. Keating
Bishop of Arlington
1999 – Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Stanislaus J. Brzana
Bishop of Ogdensburg
Succeeded by
Gerald M. Barbarito
Preceded by
John Gregory Murray
Auxiliary Bishop of Hartford
Succeeded by
Peter A. Rosazza
Preceded by
Josef Vrana
Titular Bishop of Octabia
Succeeded by
Luciano Bergamin, C.R.L.