Gorman, Thomas Kiely (1892–1980)

By: Sister Lois Bannon, O.S.U.

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Thomas K. Gorman, Catholic bishop of Dallas-Fort Worth, was born in Pasadena, California, on August 30, 1892, the son of John Joseph and Mary Elizabeth (Kiely) Gorman. In a letter of June 10, 1958, he wrote, "If it may be of any interest, I entered the seminary in 1910 before my father's death, studied in St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, California, for four years until 1914, transferred to St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore where I was ordained in 1917, studied at the Catholic University for a year in 1917–18, returned to California as a priest of the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles until 1922, studied at the University of Louvain where I took a doctorate in history in 1925, was editor of the Tidings, a diocesan newspaper in Los Angeles, from 1926 to 1931; became Bishop of Reno, Nevada, a newly-created diocese in 1931 where I served until 1952; was transferred to Dallas where I became Bishop of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, in 1954 where I am presently flourishing."

In addition to editing the Tidings in Los Angeles, Gorman began the Nevada Register in Reno and revived the Texas Catholic in Dallas (see CATHOLIC JOURNALISM). His weekly column, "The Shepherd Tells His Tale," was a popular column in the Register and in the Texas Catholic. Its title resembles the motto on the bishop's shield, which read Agni Agnos Numerari ("to tell i.e., count, the lambs of the Lamb"). During Gorman's tenure in Dallas twenty-five new parochial schools were constructed, two new Catholic high schools were completed, and the University of Dallas and Holy Trinity Seminary on the UD campus were established. Gorman helped to enlarge the role of the Catholic laity; the board of trustees at UD was made up predominantly of lay people, and a layman was appointed president of the university. Major new Catholic hospital facilities, Montserrat Retreat House, and the Cursillo Center were built during his time. On August 27, 1969, Gorman retired but continued to live in the bishop's residence in Dallas, where he remained until his death, on August 16, 1980. He is buried at Calvary Hill Mausoleum in Dallas.

Catholic Archives of Texas, Files, Austin. Dallas Morning News, December 15, 1957. Texas Catholic, April 1967. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Journalism
  • Religion
  • Catholic
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • North Texas
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Sister Lois Bannon, O.S.U., “Gorman, Thomas Kiely,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/gorman-thomas-kiely.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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