Francis Xavier DiLorenzo was named Bishop of Richmond by Pope John Paul II on 31 March 2004. Born on 15 April 1942, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bishop DiLorenzo is the oldest of three children born to Samuel and Anita Porrino DiLorenzo. His younger sister is Anita Lawler and his younger brother is Paul DiLorenzo. Bishop DiLorenzo attended St. Callistus Elementary School and St. Thomas More High School. 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 18 May 1968. He served in the Philadelphia Archdiocese in pastoral and educational assignments from 1968 to 1971. He was the parochial vicar at Saint Joseph Parish in Warrington from 1968 to 1969. He served as chaplain at Archbishop Woods High School for Girls, Warminster during that same period. He was an instructor in biology and religion at Cardinal Dougherty High School, Philadelphia from 1969 to 1971.
In 1971 he was sent to Rome for continued studies specializing in moral theology. He earned a license in sacred theology in 1973 from the Academia Alphonsiana and a doctorate in sacred theology in 1975 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).
On his return to the United States and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop DiLorenzo served as chaplain and instructor in theology at St. Pius X High School, Pottstown from 1975 to 1977. In 1977, he 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 30 June 1983. In 1983 he returned to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as Vice Rector. Two years later he was named Rector of the Seminary. 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 25 February 1986.
On 26 January 1988, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tigia and Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and ordained to the episcopacy on 8 March of that year. Five years later he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu. On 4 October 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. At the Synod, 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 has served as a member of the Administrative Committee of the USCCB and also as 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 the USCCB committee on doctrine and the ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry.
Bishop DiLorenzo died on Thursday, August 17, 2017, in Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 75. He served the Diocese of Richmond for 13 years.
Read more about the history of our diocese
Diocese by the numbers