MOST REV. F. JOSEPH GOSSMAN
CLASS OF 1956
A Mass in memory of the Most Rev. F. Joseph Gossman, retired bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Raleigh, was celebrated Tuesday at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh.
Gossman, who served as bishop from 1975 to 2006, died Monday, August 2, at 83 after what church spokesmen described as a long illness.
During his 31-year tenure, the bishop presided over a phenomenal growth in the numbers of Catholics in the diocese, which covers 54 counties in eastern North Carolina, including New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender.
He blessed and dedicated more than 60 new parishes, schools and all-purpose buildings as bishop. Among the new parishes founded during his tenure were St. Mark's in Wilmington and St. Brendan the Navigator in Shallotte.
Born April 1, 1930, in Baltimore, Gossman was ordained a priest in 1955 and earned a doctorate in canon law in 1959 from Catholic University in Washington. He was named an honorary prelate to Pope Paul VI in 1965 with the title of Monsignor, and in 1968 he was named auxiliary bishop of Baltimore.
Paul VI named him the fourth Bishop of Raleigh on April 8, 1975. At the time, Gossman was just 45 years old.
He retired due to age on June 8, 2006, and was succeeded by the current bishop, the Most. Rev. Michael F. Burbidge.
Funeral arrangements, including visitation, vigil, funeral Mass and Rite of Committal, will be announced later, according to the diocese.