‘Premier Dog’: Archbishop Lori’s pet ready for life in the big city

By George P. Matysek Jr.


Twitter: @ReviewMatysek

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – “Noble,” Archbishop William E. Lori’s pet golden retriever, wasn’t at all happy about being in the spotlight during a recent spring visit with a journalist and photographer at the archbishop’s former residence in Connecticut.

As the archbishop vainly tried to entice the 6-year-old canine to sit still for a photo, the long-haired pooch wouldn’t even be tempted by a piece of apple – a special treat.

“He’s camera shy,” the archbishop said, squatting down to wrap a comforting arm around the dog before it skirted away and shook his head from side to side at the mere sight of a camera.

Noble may be in store for a higher profile in the Archdiocese of Baltimore – the nation’s first diocese and the “Premier See.” The dog accompanied Archbishop Lori to Baltimore and will be living with the archbishop at his Charles Street residence adjoined to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – the first cathedral in the United States.

“I hope Noble will like being the ‘Premier Dog,’” Archbishop Lori said with a laugh. “His yard is going to be the yard of the oldest cathedral in the country. What’s wrong with that?”

In Bridgeport, Archbishop Lori said, Noble was accustomed to the “country life,” enjoying a few acres to roam around and chase Canada geese off the property. There will be a much more urban feel in Charm City.

“We’ll see,” Archbishop Lori said. “I think if we feed him twice a day, he’s going to be great.”

Noble has already gone through a big transition. His littermate, “Barnes,” died Dec. 7, 2011. “Barnes” and “Noble” were named in honor of their master’s passion for reading.

“Barney was the alpha dog,” Archbishop Lori said. “Noble, as his name would indicate, is a little more reserved.”

Archbishop Lori said he loves playing with Noble. The dog is his “constant companion” whenever the archbishop is at home, he said.

“He’s a great dog,” the archbishop said, glancing down at his four-footed friend.

As if on cue, Noble stood by his master’s side.




George P. Matysek Jr. | Catholic Review

George P. Matysek Jr. | Catholic Review

George Matysek was named digital editor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2017 following two decades at the Catholic Review, where he began as a writer and then served as senior correspondent, assistant managing editor and web editor.

In his current role, he manages archbalt.org and CatholicReview.org and is a host of the Catholic Baltimore radio program.

George has won more than 70 national and regional journalism and broadcasting awards from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, the Catholic Press Association, the Associated Church Press and National Right to Life. He has reported from Guyana, Guatemala, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

A native Baltimorean, George is a proud graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex. He holds a bachelor's degree from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and a master's degree from UMBC.

George, his wife and five children live in Rodgers Forge, where they are parishioners of St. Pius X, Rodgers Forge/St. Mary of the Assumption, Govans.