|Birth: ||Oct. 15, 1915|
|Death: ||Mar. 30, 2009|
Monsignor Loras Joseph Watters was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on October 15, 1915, to Martin J. Watters and Carolyn Sisler, and attended Grade School, High School and College in Dubuque at St. Raphael's Cathedral Grade School, Loras Academy, and Loras College. He graduated from College in 1937, and then attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, where he studied at the Gregorian University from 1937 till 1940, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Sacred Theology. He completed his Theological Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., receiving his Licentiate Degree in Sacred Theology in 1941. Aged 25, he was ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Dubuque on June 7, 1941, by the late Archbishop Francis J.L. Beckman.
His first assignment was as Assistant Pastor at St. Martin's Parish, Cascade, Iowa, from 1941 till 1945, when he entered the Department of Education at The Catholic University of America, receiving a Master's Degree in Education in 1947. He was then named as Principal of Loras Academy in Dubuque. From 1952 until 1954, he again attended the named Catholic University of America and received a Doctorate in Philosophy.
In June of 1954, Watters was named Chairman of the Department of Education at Loras College and in May 1956, Papal Chamberlain by Pope Pius XII with the Title of Monsignor. In 1959, he was named a Domestic Prelate by Pope John XXIII. From 1956 to 1960, he served as one of the Spiritual Directors at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. From 1960 until 1965, he served furthermore as Director of the American Martyrs Retreat House in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Aged 49, Msgr. Watters was appointed Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, by Pope Paul VI, receiving his Episcopal Consecration with the Titular See of Fidoloma on August 26, 1965, from Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, Apostolic Delegate to the United States and Future Cardinal, assisted by Archbishops James Joseph Byrne and James Vincent Casey. Apart from the named Auxiliary Office, Bishop Watters was also assigned as Pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Dubuque and Vicar General of the Archdiocese. He was also named as Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools.
On January 8, 1969, following the retirement of Msgr. Edward Aloysius Fitzgerald, Watters was appointed as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota. He was installed there on the following March 13. At the 1972 Meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Watters was elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Priestly Formation.
During his 18 years as Bishop of Winona, he promulgated the document, "The Church in the Diocese of Winona," which describes the Diocesan Church and the roles of the Laity, Religious and Priests. Based on the documents of the Second Vatican Council, he also formed a Diocesan Pastoral Council. He also developed the Diocesan Tribunal and established the Diocesan Finance Office, and reorganized the Diocese of Winona into a localized deanery structure.
He also led the Diocese of Winona in a spiritual renewal process called "RENEW" which led to growth in prayer, utilization of Sacred Scripture, building community and ministerial outreach among the people of the diocese. On October 2, 1986, Bishop Watters was informed by Archbishop Pio Laghi, Apostolic Pro - Nuncio to the United States that Pope John Paul II had granted his request for resignation as Fifth Bishop of Winona. He served as Apostolic Administrator until Bishop John G. Vlazny was installed as the Sixth Bishop of Winona on July 29, 1987.
Bishop Watters took up residence at St. Mary's College in Winona and served as Chaplain to the Brothers who resided and taught on Campus. After spending some time in Pacific Grove, California in order to be closer to his sisters, he was welcomed back to the Diocese of Winona in 2003, when he took up residence at Callista Court at St. Anne's Extended Healthcare, where he passed away on Monday, March 30, 2009, aged 93.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Friday, April 3, at 12 noon at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona presided by Bishop Bernard J. Harrington followed by internment in St. Mary's Cemetery of Winona.
Saint Marys Cemetery
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Apr 05, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35536975
May You Now Rest In Eternal Peace, Dearest Bishop Loras !|
Added: Apr. 5, 2009