Richmond, Va., Aug 18, 2017 / 10:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo of Richmond has passed away at the age of 75.
“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop DiLorenzo, for his family and friends, and for the people of the Diocese of Richmond,” said the Richmond diocese’s vicar general, Monsignor Mark Lane.
“He was a faithful servant of the Church for 49 years and a Shepherd of the Diocese of Richmond for 13 years.”
In the neighboring Diocese of Arlington, Bishop Michael Burbidge also called for prayers.
“May we be united in our prayer for Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, and his eternal peace,” the bishop said on Twitter.
Bishop DiLorenzo passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond on Thursday evening.
Bishop DiLorenzo was born in Philadelphia on April 15, 1942, the eldest of three children, his biography on the Richmond diocese’s website says. After studying at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia ordained him to the priesthood in May 1968. His service in the Philadelphia archdiocese included positions as high school chaplain and religion and biology teacher.
He began studies in Rome in 1971, earning a license in sacred theology from the Academy Alphonsiana in 1973 and a doctorate in sacred theology in 1975 from the Angelicum. Upon his return to the U.S., Father DiLorenzo was appointed chaplain and associate professor of moral theology at Immaculata College in Pennsylvania. He then served as vice-rector and rector at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of Scranton, Penn. in 1988, where he served for five years. After becoming apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu, he became Bishop of Honolulu in October 1994. He was installed as Bishop of Richmond in 2004.
His work at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops include membership of its administrative committee its doctrine committee, and its ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry. He was chairman of the conference’s Committee on Science and Human Values. He helped launch a series of teaching brochures on the relationship of science and religion and on bioethical issues like genetic testing and screening of embryos.
He had submitted his resignation upon reaching age 75, in accord with canon law.
There are about 220,000 Catholics in the Richmond diocese.