the Apostolic Nuncio Christophe Pierre, the official delegate of the Pope,
in attendance, Most Reverend Robert J. McClory, 56, was ordained a bishop
and installed as the fifth Bishop of Gary during a special Mass held at Holy
Angels Cathedral on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the feast of our Lady of Lourdes.
than 800 faithful, including family and friends, community leaders, deacons,
religious, priests and bishops from across the country gathered to witness
the ordination and installation.
people have been warm and gracious,” said Bishop McClory. “There’s a sense
of excitement that I have, that has certainly been present in the people of
the Diocese of Gary. I’m looking forward to greeting many people over the
bishop viewed the day as a celebration for all of Northwest Indiana. He said
he hopes the joy of the day will send a message of encouragement to the
region, resonating with the people of God and beyond.
last priest to be ordained a bishop in the Diocese of Gary was its founding
shepherd, Bishop Andrew G. Grutka, who is entombed at the cathedral.
bishops are appointed by the Holy Father, the Pope, and ordained by at least
three bishops who celebrate the sacrament. Although deacons and priests are
also set aside in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, only bishops receive the
“fullness of orders.”
ordination of a bishop is a signature event in the life of a priest and the
Catholic diocese to which he is appointed. More than the appointment of a
chief administer; the ordination of a bishop is an elevation of the
Sacrament of Holy Orders. The bishop is “configured” or “wedded” to Christ
in a profound and permanent way and receives graces needed to fulfill his
vow to serve as a shepherd.
ordination rite itself is drawn from the earliest days of the Church as
recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and early 1st century documents. With
the “laying on of hands,” bishops are set aside for a particular purpose, in
the same manner that the High Priest was set aside in the Old Testament. A
newly ordained bishop is “set aside,” in fact, as a successor to the
Apostles, to lead God’s people as shepherd after the pattern of the Good
the Monday prior to the Ordination Mass, more than 1,000 family, friends and
faithful gathered with then Bishop-elect McClory for Evening Prayer, or
Vespers, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Schererville.
Evening Prayer is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, which defines specific
times of prayer as a response to Jesus’ command to “pray always” (Luke 18:1
and 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Through this order of prayer, the community
maintains continual praise of God with prayers of intercession for the needs
of the world. Evening Prayer particularly gives thanks and praise to God for
the day just finished.
“It’s a beautiful tradition,” the Bishop-elect commented. “The evening
prayer service provided a wonderful opportunity for others to join in the
ceremony and witness the blessing of the bishop’s insignia.”
There are various insignia ÐÐ symbolic items used by a bishop ÐÐ that need
to be blessed before being used by the bishop. The evening prayer service
provided a public opportunity to witness the blessing of the bishop’s mitre,
crozier (shepherd’s staff) and ring.
Prior to his ordination, then-Monsignor McClory served as the pastor and
rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak,
in Detroit, he is the youngest of four children of James and Ann McClory
(both deceased). He attended Saint Francis DeSales grade school until his
family moved to Royal Oak where he graduated from Saint Mary Grade School
and Dondero High School.
his previous assignments, Bishop McClory served as the vicar general and
moderator of the curia of the Archdiocese of Detroit. In that capacity, he
was the chief of staff for Archbishop Vigneron in coordinating the central
offices of the archdiocese. He also served as the pastor of Presentation Our
Lady of Victory parish in Detroit.
Until his appointment to the Diocese of Gary, Bishop McClory served on the
Archdiocese of Detroit Episcopal Council, College of Consultors, Priest
Assignment Board and New Evangelization Council. He also serves as the
spiritual advisor to Detroit Team Eight for Teams of Our Lady, a marriage
consultant with the Catholic Leadership Institute, he offered leadership
training to priests, deacons, seminarians, parish and diocesan leaders. At
Sacred Heart Major Seminary graduate school of theology in Detroit, he
taught Introduction to Canon Law, Sacramental and Ecumenical Law, and the
Theology and Law of Marriage.
Prior to becoming moderator of the curia, Bishop McClory served as
chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit, administrative secretary to
Cardinal Adam Maida, and as associate pastor at St. Isidore parish, Macomb
Township and St. Therese of Lisieux parish, Shelby Township. He has been a
weekend associate at Our Lady of the Lakes parish, Waterford; St. Blase
parish, Sterling Heights; and St. Andrew parish, Rochester.
McClory studied philosophy at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was
then sent to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he earned
a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 1998 from the Pontifical Gregorian
University. Bp. McClory completed his license in canon law at the Pontifical
University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 2000. His thesis was entitled,
“The Implementation of Ex corde Ecclesiae in the United States.”
Bishop McClory was ordained a deacon by Cardinal Edmund Szoka in Saint
Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on Oct. 8, 1998. He was ordained a priest by
Cardinal Maida at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit, on May 22, 1999.
He was given the title of Monsignor and made a chaplain to His Holiness by
Pope Benedict XVI on May 20, 2005.
Prior to entering the seminary, Bishop McClory earned a bachelor’s degree in
political science and communications from Oakland University, a master’s
degree in public policy and administration from Columbia University and a
juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
served on the boards of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, Sacred
Heart Major Seminary, Saint Catherine of Siena Academy in Wixom and Loyola
High School in Detroit. He has been the spiritual advisor for the Catholic
Lawyers Society of Detroit and chaplain to the Detroit Northeast Chapter of
Legatus, an organization for Catholic business leaders and their spouses. He
is a member of the Canon Law Society of America and served as a member of
the Committee on Civil and Canon Law. He has been a priest-observer for
Region VI, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a Knight of
the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a third degree
Knight of Columbus.
“Serving as a parish priest, in the Chancery and on many other levels in the
Archdiocese of Detroit, I look forward to his many experiences and knowledge
that will assist in the vibrancy of the Diocese of Gary parishes and
schools,” said Rev. Jon Plavcan, pastor of St. Patrick’s, in Chesterton.
Diocese of Gary, Indiana, was established Dec. 17, 1956 by Pope Pius XII.
The first bishop was Most Rev. Andrew G. Grutka (1956-1984). He was
succeeded by the Most Revs. Norbert Gaughan (1984-1996), Dale J. Melczek
(1996-2014), and Donald J. Hying (2014-2019).
diocese covers 1,807 miles, including Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Starke
counties in northwestern Indiana. The mother church of the diocese is
Cathedral of the Holy Angels in Gary.
population of the area is 786,500; the Catholic population is estimated to
be 168,500. The diocese comprises 64 parishes, seven hospitals, two
colleges, three high schools, one private high school, and 17 elementary
schools. The total number of students under Catholic instruction, including
parish faith formation, is 13,029.
There are 89 diocesan priests and 41 religious priests serving the Diocese
of Gary. The diocese is also served by 18 religious brothers, 57 religious
sisters, 66 permanent deacons and 283 lay ecclesial ministers.