Thomas Kiely Gorman

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Thomas Kiely Gorman (August 30, 1892 – August 16, 1980) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Reno from 1931 to 1952, and Bishop of Dallas from 1954 to 1969.[1]


Thomas Gorman was born in Pasadena, California, to John Joseph and Mary Elizabeth (née Kiely) Gorman. He entered St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park in 1910, shortly before his father's death, and was transferred to St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1914. Gorman was ordained to the priesthood on June 23, 1917.

After studying at the Catholic University of America for a year, he returned to California and did pastoral work in the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles until 1922. Gorman graduated in 1925 from the University of Louvain, from where he obtained a doctorate in history. He was editor of the Tidings, a diocesan newspaper in Los Angeles, from 1926 to 1931.

On April 24, 1931, Gorman was appointed the first Bishop of Reno by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 22 from Archbishop John Cantwell, with Bishops John Mitty and Robert Armstrong serving as co-consecrators.

Gorman was later named Coadjutor Bishop of Dallas, Texas, and Titular Bishop of Rhasus on February 8, 1952. He succeeded Joseph Patrick Lynch as the fourth Bishop of Dallas upon the latter's death on August 29, 1954. John F. Kennedy, the first and only Catholic to serve as President of the United States, was shot and killed in Dallas during Gorman's tenure. He attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Despite his original support for their ecumenical work, Gorman relieved four Texan Paulist priests of their duties in 1967, because they had neglected their responsibility of servicing the Newman Clubs at local colleges.[2] His decision met widespread opposition, but he refused to reverse it.[2]

On August 22, 1969, Gorman retired as Bishop of Dallas and was named Titular Bishop of Pinhel, later resigned that title on January 21, 1971. He continued to live in the episcopal residence in Dallas, where he remained until his death at age 88. He is buried at Calvary Hill Mausoleum.


  1. ^ "Bishop Thomas Kiely Gorman". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "A Punt on the Five-Yard Line". TIME Magazine. 1967-06-16.