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2008 Lantern Award

Conferred upon Bishop William E. Lori, S.T.D. on the occasion of the Fifty-Second Annual Lantern Award Presentation at  the One hundred eighth Annual Patriots Day Dinner on Monday April 21st at the Newton Marriott.

Bishop William E. Lori, S.T.D.

Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus

As supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., has the responsibility of overseeing the spiritual welfare of the Order’s 1.7 million members and their families.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Bishop Lori obtained a bachelor's degree from the Seminary of Saint Pius X in Erlanger, Ky, in 1973, and a master’s degree from Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1977. In 1982, Bishop Lori received his doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.


Bishop Lori was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington by Cardinal William Baum on May 14, 1977, in St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, D.C. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Landover, Md., a position he held for five years. Thereafter, Bishop Lori held a number of official chancery positions in the archdiocese, including vicar general, moderator of the Curia, and secretary to Cardinal James Hickey.

In 1995, Bishop Lori was ordained to the episcopate as auxiliary bishop of Washington and titular bishop of Bulla, an ancient suffragan see in modern-day Tunisia.

Bishop Lori is chairman of the board of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Since 2001, Bishop Lori has been a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Doctrine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In 2002, President George W. Bush invited Bishop Lori to join the President's Committee on Mental Retardation.

In 2002, in recognition of his role as an emerging leader in the Church's response to the sexual misconduct crisis, Bishop Lori was appointed to the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse. He was instrumental in drafting the landmark Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

As one of four U.S. bishops on a special Mixed Commission, Bishop Lori journeyed to the Vatican to revise the "Essential Norms" of the Charter, which has now become particular law for the Catholic Church in the United States to ensure that no one who works for the Catholic Church will ever pose a threat of any kind to any person, young or old.

Bishop Lori was elected supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus in April 2005.

Biography of Bishop William E. Lori

1951: Born on May 6 in Louisville, KY, the second of three sons to Margaret and Francis Lori.

1973: Earns a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Seminary of Saint Pius X in Erlanger, KY. Enters major seminary, Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, to study for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington.

1977: Earns a Master of Arts degree from Mount Saint Mary's Seminary. On May 14, he is ordained to the priesthood by William Cardinal Baum in Saint Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C. His first assignment is as Associate Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Landover, MD.

1982: Earns a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D) from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Named Director of the Archdiocese of Washington's Commission of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and Theological Advisor to His Eminence, James Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop of Washington.

1983: Named Secretary and Theologian to Cardinal Hickey, a position he holds until 1994.

1993: Named a member of the Board of Governors of the Maryland Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of Maryland's Catholic bishops, and the District of Columbia Catholic Conference.

1994: Appointed Chancellor, Vicar General, and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Washington.

1995: Ordained to the Episcopate as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington and Titular Bishop of Bulla, on April 20 in Saint Matthew's Cathedral.

2001: On January 23, appointed the Fourth Bishop of Bridgeport, succeeding His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York. On March 19, the Feast of Saint Joseph, installed as Bishop of Bridgeport at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

Coat of Arms of Bishop William E. Lori,
Fourth Bishop of Bridgeport


Blazon: Arms impaled. Dexter: Argent, a cross, a bridge, and wavy bars, the heraldic representation of water. Sinister: Azure, a fess or between in chief two billets and in base a fleur-de-lis.

Significance: The episcopal heraldic achievement, or Bishop's Coat of Arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll, and the external ornaments.

By heraldic tradition, the arms of the Bishop of a territorial Diocese, seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the shield, are joined to his personal arms, seen in the sinister impalement (right side) of the shield. The ancient Lori Arms have been "differenced" to make them personal to Bishop Lori by the reversal of the tinctures of the shield and fess to a blue field and a gold (yellow) fess.

The silver (white) billets have been reduced to two and placed in "chief," or upper portion of the shield. The two silver (white) billets are here symbols of the Law of God in the Old and New Testament. Billets are also symbolic of briefs and folded letters and commemorate Bishop Lori's priestly service in assisting the Cardinal Archbishop in the administration of the Church in Washington, D.C.

In the lower portion of the shield a silver (white) fleur-de-lis, an ancient symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has been substituted for a tree on a mount.

Behind the Arms is placed a gold (yellow) processional cross and ensigning the whole achievement is a pontifical hat with its six tassels on each side, disposed in three rows, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of a bishop in accordance with the Instruction of the Holy See, dated March 31, 1969.

Motto: In Caritate Servire; "To Serve in Love," of God and neighbor, taken from Ephesians 4:15, continues the theme of the motto of His Eminence, James Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington. It has been chosen as a mark of Bishop Lori's respect for Cardinal Hickey. It should be noted this motto was that of Cardinal Hickey when he was Auxiliary to Bishop Stephen S. Woznicki of Saginaw, Michigan.

Before 1870, the pontifical hat was worn at solemn cavalcades held in conjunction with papal ceremonies. The color of the hat and the number of tassels were signs of the rank of the prelate, a custom still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

The Arms were devised and "differenced" by A.W.C. Phelps of Cleveland, Ohio, in consultation with Bishop William E. Lori.

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