Watch An Apostle’s Calling on Bishop Loverde’s 50 years of priestly ministry.
(Reposted with permission from Crux. Written by Christopher White.)
When Paul Loverde’s tenure as Bishop of Arlington, Virginia comes to a close next week, perhaps his greatest legacy will be his reputation as a priest with an eye on the peripheries-long before we had a pope who popularized the concept.
Born an only child, and prematurely, to Sicilian immigrant parents, Loverde wasn’t expected to survive. But such a formative experience would instill in him a great respect for the value of life and an appreciation for the deep faith that sustained his family and proved formative to his youth.
Loverde’s parents prioritized his education, sending him to Catholic schools in Connecticut and Rhode Island. After an early call to the priesthood, he studied at the North American College in Rome and was ordained a priest in St. Peter’s Basilica in December 1965.
Serving first as a priest in the diocese of Norwich, he was named an auxiliary bishop of Hartford, Connecticut in 1988 and then appointed bishop of Ogdensburg, New York in 1994, before being named the third bishop of the diocese of Arlington on March 25, 1999. Upon hearing this news, John Cardinal O’Connor, then archbishop of New York, is said to have remarked, “God must love the people of Arlington very much.”
A common theme throughout his ministry has been a commitment to resisting the throwaway culture, which Pope Francis has so often decried.