Stanley Joseph Ott

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The Most Reverend

Stanley Joseph Ott,

S.T.D., Ph.D.
Bishop of Baton Rouge
Stanley Ott.jpg
Stanley Joseph Ott in choir dress, cassock, rochet and pectoral cross
ProvinceNew Orleans
DioceseBaton Rouge
InstalledJanuary 13, 1983
Term endedNovember 28, 1992
PredecessorJoseph Vincent Sullivan
SuccessorAlfred Clifton Hughes
OrdinationDecember 8, 1951
ConsecrationJune 29, 1976
Personal details
Born(1927-06-29)June 29, 1927
Gretna, Louisiana,
United States
DiedNovember 28, 1992(1992-11-28) (aged 65)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
BuriedSaint Joseph Cathedral Cemetery, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
ParentsManuel Peter Оtt & Lucille Berthelot
Previous postAuxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans (1976-83)
Alma materSt. Joseph Seminary College; Pontifical Gregorian University

Stanley Joseph Ott, S.T.D., (June 29, 1927 – November 28, 1992) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Baton Rouge from 1983 until his death in 1992. Stanley Ott was the cousin of Mel Ott[1] and celebrated the Funeral Mass for Elmo Patrick Sonnier, a convicted murderer who was buried near the graves of bishops.[2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Stanley Ott was born in Gretna, Louisiana, the youngest of three children of Manuel Peter Оtt and his wife, Lucille Berthelot.[5] He was a second cousin of Mel Ott, a New York Giants outfielder and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.[6] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Joseph's Church[7] in Gretna, where he also served as an altar boy.[6] He then attended St. Aloysius High School in New Orleans.[5] Following his graduation from St. Aloysius in 1944, he decided to study for the priesthood instead of entering the military service.[6]

Ott attended St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington before entering Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.[5] He continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, where he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University.[5]


While in Rome, Ott was ordained a priest by Archbishop Martin O'Connor on December 8, 1951.[8] He earned a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian in 1954.[9] Following his return to Louisiana, he was assigned as a curate at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church[10] in New Orleans, where he remained for three years.[5] He served as an assistant chaplain at the Catholic Student Center of Louisiana State University from 1957 to 1961.[9]

In 1961, after the creation of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Ott became judicial vicar of the new diocese and a curate at St. Joseph Cathedral.[9] He was named chancellor of the diocese in 1966 and rector of the cathedral in 1968.[11] In addition to these duties, he also served as dean of the Central Deanery and a member of the diocesan college of consultors.[5]


New Orleans[edit]

On May 24, 1976, Ott was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and titular bishop of Nicives by Pope Paul VI.[8] He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 29 from Philip Hannan, the Archbishop of New Orleans, serving as consecrator, with William Borders, the Archbishop of Baltimore, and Joseph Sullivan, Bishop of Baton Rouge, as co-consecrators. The consecration was held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, in New Orleans.[8] He was then appointed by Hannan as the Vicar General of the archdiocese.[9]

Baton Rouge[edit]

Following the death of Sullivan in September 1982, Ott was named the third Bishop of Baton Rouge by Pope John Paul II on January 13, 1983.[8] During his nine-year tenure, he encouraged the increased participation of the laity in diocesan affairs, and promoted the ecumenical movement by engaging with leaders of other religions.[9] He also oversaw a major reorganization of the Presbyteral Council and other diocesan structures.[9]

An outspoken opponent of abortion, Ott urged Catholics to become involved in the pro-life movement and participated in Operation Rescue protests.[11] In 1984, he received heavy criticism for conducting a Mass for executed murderer Elmo Patrick Sonnier.[11] He served as chairman of the Committee on the Laity of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and was a delegate to the World Synod of Bishops in 1987.[5] He was a member of the Baton Rouge Sierra Club, Knights of Columbus, and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.[5]

Later life and death[edit]

In March 1991, Ott was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer, which had spread to his spine by October of that year.[11] He eventually lost the use of his legs, and underwent radiation treatment at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center[12] in Baton Rouge.[11] He died there in September 1992 at age 65,[5] and was buried in the cathedral cemetery.[13]



  1. ^ "Bishop Stanley J. Ott". Orlando Sentinel. December 1, 1992. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Executed killer blessed with burial for the elite". Times-Picayune. Public Broadcasting Service. April 7, 1984. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Dead Family Walking". Goldlamp Publishing Company. 2005. p. 125. Archived from the original on 14 April 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Elmo Patrick Sonnier #17". Clark County Prosecuting Attorney. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "OTT, S.T.D., BISHOP STANLEY JOSEPH". The Advocate. 1992-12-04.
  6. ^ a b c Hanover, Dennis (1991-06-15). "Bishop Ott looks back on his moment of grace". The Advocate.
  7. ^ "St Joseph Catholic Church (Gretna LA)". Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  8. ^ a b c d "Bishop Stanley Joseph Ott".
  9. ^ a b c d e f "The Bishops of Baton Rouge". Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. Archived from the original on 2001-11-19.
  10. ^ "St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church, New Orleans, LA". Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Stanley Ott dies". The Advocate. 1992-11-29.
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  13. ^ "Rev Stanley Joseph Ott". Find-a-Grave.

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Joseph Vincent Sullivan
Bishop of Baton Rouge
Succeeded by
Alfred Clifton Hughes
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Croix de l Ordre du Saint-Sepulcre.svg Grand Prior Southeastern Lieutenancy of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
Succeeded by
John Cassata