Behind every fancy title, there’s a person with a story

At the National Catholic Register there is a good article about several US bishops who have been persecuted by the catholic Left.

Little-Known Facts About 7 North American Bishops

Facts about Bishop James Conley, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop Michael Miller, Bishop Robert Morlino, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Archbishop Alexander Sample and Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Here are some interesting facts seven North American diocesan bishops shared with me about themselves of which you may not be aware.

Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska James Conley, 62, has not only prayed for the end of abortion in front of abortion clinics, but was arrested and taken to jail for his participation in Operation Rescue, a protest movement in the 1980s that involved pro-lifers peacefully blocking the entrances to abortion clinics.

[… see the rest there!…]

Growing up, the closest sibling companion of Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky Joseph Kurtz, 71, was his brother, George, who had Down syndrome. Archbishop Kurtz is the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, and one of five children, but his three older sisters had married and moved out of the house while he was still young. Hence, “Georgie” was his friend and companion while growing up. Years later, when their mother died, Georgie came to live with his brother while he was both priest and bishop until Georgie’s death in 2002.


Archbishop of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Michael Miller, 71, has done an extensive study of the papacy, and wrote the 1995 book The Shepherd and the Rock: Origins, Development, and Mission of the Papacy. Speaking of how the papacy has changed in modern times, he said, “In the past 50 years, popes have emerged as central symbolic symbols. When you read the secular papers, they mention the pope two or three times a week. This wasn’t true in the 30s or 40s. The pope seemed to be more of a remote individual, not as visibly present in the lives of Catholics. The popes became a more present reality, I believe, beginning with the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.”  [I got to know Archbp. Miller in Rome where we shared the same residence.  He is a prayerful gentleman and a scholar.]


In 2008, the dissident group Call to Action placed a full-page open letter in the Wisconsin State Journal criticizing the leadership of Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin Robert Morlino, 70. He said, “I pray for people in Call to Action. I feel badly that they’re committed to what they’re doing as a good. It causes tremendous division within the Church. And, to try to organize the people against the bishop who is doing nothing but what the Church is teaching is a harmful thing. It grieves me.”  [The Extraordinary Ordinary.]

Bishop of Springfield, Illinois Thomas Paprocki, 65, is an athlete who has run 22 marathons and plays hockey.  [He performed an exorcism over the state of Illinois after a same-sex marriage law was passed.  OORAH.  And he celebrates the TLM.]


Archbishop of Portland Alexander Sample, 56, lives with and is a part-time caretaker to his 88-year-old widowed mother, Joyce Sample. Over the years he has cooked for her, done her laundry, bought her items at the store and taken her to the doctor. He said, “I can relate very much to families that care for elderly parents. I cook dinner for my mother and myself every night. It is my great honor and joy.” [I’ve known Archbp. Sample since the mid-80’s.  A more prayerful priest you will not find.]

The father of Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the newly elected chairman of the USCCB’s pro-life committee, was murdered in December 1948, when the archbishop was just a few months along in his mother’s womb. For decades, the archbishop has been active in pro-life activities, supporting a variety of pro-life organizations and even participating in Rosaries prayed in front of abortion clinics.


In my Z-Swag store…  car magnets and bumper stickers in many variations  HERE



And individual items, of course, not just packs.  But… get them by the pack.   Also, long exposure in direct sun will make them fade.  (Just buy more!)



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Michael says:

    They forgot Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco. He has been persecuted for years now.

  2. SenexCalvus says:

    When Archbishop Kurtz was Bishop of Knoxville, I had occasion to hear him preach several times. His message was always a simple, direct, and compelling proclamation that Jesus is the Lord. That’s the Gospel, and that’s what he’d preach. He’d then give a few instructions on how to make that truth the center of our lives. I could always remember his homilies because they were so straightforward. The priests in that diocese were likewise the best I’ve ever known, humble men and devout.

  3. hwriggles4 says:

    Thanks for mentioning Archbishop Miller. He was helpful in bringing the University of St. Thomas in Houston to have more of a Catholic identity.

    As for Archbishop Kurtz, he did quite a bit for the Church when he was at the helm of the Knoxville diocese – particularly with vocations to the priesthood.

    I have also heard really positive things about Bishop Roger Foys in the Diocese of Covington (Kentucky).

  4. Midwest St. Michael says:

    I am hearing bishop Joseph M. Siegel [54, auxiliary of Joliet, Il.], who will be installed bishop of Evansville this Friday the 15th [EWTN will be airing], is very pro-life like those on this list.

    I understand he attended last year’s March for Life in D.C. and plans on being there again this January.

    Good news, indeed.

  5. LarryW2LJ says:

    How can you NOT love a prayerful, steadfast man with a spine? These bishops are an inspiration to all of us. Here in the diocese of Metuchen, in NJ, a new bishop took the reins just a few years ago, Bishop James Checcio. I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him personally, or speak with him. My impression is that he is a very genuine man, concerned for his flock and very concerned about increasing vocations.

    Last year, I was able to attend a few workshops at our diocesan center – one on evangilization and the other, a seminar for catechists. During one of those, he came and attended the holy hour with us; and for the other, he offered Mass in the chapel in the morning. And since his installation, he’s made it a point to offer Mass at each and every parish within the diocese.

    He used to be stationed in Rome; but came home to NJ to be close to his aging mother who lives in Camden – about 50 miles south of us.

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  7. Uxixu says:

    Ecce sacérdos magnus, qui in diébus suis plácuit Deo, et invéntus est justus: et in témpore iracúndiæ factus est reconciliátio.

    Great bishops all!

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