The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001023294-01
Funeral Notices

Most Reverend FRANCIS XAVIER DILORENZO D.D., S.T.D., Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, died on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at the age of 75. Born on April 15, 1942, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bishop DiLorenzo was the oldest of three children born to Samuel and Anita Porrino DiLorenzo. In 1960, he enrolled in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol on May 18, 1968. He served in the Philadelphia Archdiocese in pastoral and educational assignments from 1968 to 1971. In 1971 he was sent to Rome for continued studies specializing in moral theology. He earned a doctorate in sacred theology in 1975 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Upon his return to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1975, Bishop DiLorenzo served as chaplain and instructor in theology at St. Pius X High School and, in 1977, was appointed chaplain and associate professor of moral theology at Immaculata College. He was honored with the title Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II on June 30, 1983. In that same year, he returned to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, serving first as Vice Rector and two years later as Rector. During these years, he was also a member of the Archdiocesan Committee and a Prosynodal Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal. He was named a member of the Papal Household and received the title Prelate of Honor of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on February 25, 1986. On January 26, 1988, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tigia and Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and ordained to the episcopacy on March 8, 1988. Five years later, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu. On October 4, 1994, he became the Ordinary. During his administration, Bishop DiLorenzo was nominated by the Pope as a participant in the 1998 Synod of Bishops for Asia, where he encouraged more collaboration between Asian and U.S. bishops to serve the growing needs of Catholic Asian immigrants in the United States. Bishop DiLorenzo served in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a member of the Administrative Committee and also the chairman of the Committee on Science and Human Values. In an earlier term as chairman of that committee, he inaugurated a series of popular teaching brochures, reflecting the bishops’ consultations with top scientists on topics such as the relationship of science and religion and ethical issues in the rapidly growing fields of genetic testing and genetic screening. In previous years, he also served on the USCCB committee on doctrine and the ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry. Bishop DiLorenzo was named Bishop of Richmond by Pope John Paul II on March 31, 2004. He served the people of the Diocese of Richmond for 13 years. During that time, he has been instrumental in furthering many important ministries, most especially youth, young adult and campus ministries, vocations to the priesthood, Catholic schools, advanced lay leadership formation, and priestly formation. He has insured the financial stability of the parishes, schools, and diocesan administrative offices. He worked to keep many of our churches open by enlisting the help of his brother bishops around the globe to send quality missionary priests to serve in our diocese. He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Anita and Thomas Lawler of Villas, New Jersey, and his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Paul DiLorenzo of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, and his close family friend, Sr. Janice M. Johnson, RSM, of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Please remember Bishop DiLorenzo and his family in your prayers. Bishop DiLorenzo had a special place in his heart for his priests. For that reason, the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond has established the "Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Memorial Fund for Priests." The income from this endowment fund will be used to support priestly vocations and the retired priests of the Diocese. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to this endowment fund: Catholic Community Foundation, 7800 Carousel Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23294.