Bishop Joseph Gossman, Former Priest and Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, Dies at Age 83

Served as 4th Bishop of Raleigh 1975-2006 after leaving Baltimore

Bishop Joseph Gossman, who led the Diocese of Raleigh for 31 years following 20 years of service to the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a priest and Auxiliary Bishop under Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, died Monday in North Carolina at age 83.

Joseph Gossman was born in Baltimore on April 1, 1930. He attended St. Charles College in Catonsville and St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park before continuing his studies at the Pontifical North American College (PNAC) in Rome. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Rome on December 17, 1955 and earned degrees in Sacred Theology from the PNAC in 1956 and in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1959.

Pope Paul VI named Father Gossman a Monsignor in 1965. While in Baltimore he served as Associate Pastor of the Basilica of the Assumption, Administrator of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, and Vice-Chancellor under Cardinal Shehan before being ordained an Auxiliary Bishop in 1968. In June 1970, Bishop Gossman became the Archdiocese’s first Urban Vicar, charged with serving as “an advocate for the needs of the Church in the City.”

Bishop Gossman served as the fourth Bishop of Raleigh from 1975 until his retirement in 2006, leading the diocese through a period of unprecedented growth during his more than three decades leading the Church in Raleigh.

In a letter to the priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop William Lori encouraged prayers for the repose of Bishop Gossman’s soul and noted that his service as a priest and bishop was guided by his episcopal motto, “’To serve, not be served.’ His priestly example and his efforts to promote the Church, most especially in Baltimore City, continue to bear fruit and are a welcome example to all of us who are called to serve the Lord and His people.”

Sean Caine

Sean Caine

Sean Caine is Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Communications