Bishop Joseph M. Gilmore : First Native Bishop of Helena

Bishop Joseph Michael Gilmore (1893-1962) served as guide to the people of the Diocese of Helena from 1936 to 1962. There were many stages and facets of his life. During his early years he lived and studied in Rome until his ordination, he then returned to Montana and became a faculty member of Mount St. Charles College (Carroll College), after which he became pastor to St. Teresa's in Whitehall and then St. Helena's in Meaderville. He was named Bishop of Helena in 1936. There were multiple aspects of his ministry. He served as an administrator by guiding lay organizations and heading building fund drives. He helped the communities celebrate their momentous achievements, including the 100th Anniversaries of St. Mary's in Stevensville, Montana, and the St. Ignatius Mission. Bishop Gilmore helped guide the priests and clergy of the diocese, making ad limina visits to Rome and establishing Legendary Lodge as it is seen today. He dedicated many churches and schools throughout the diocese and ministered directly to the laity. In 1962, Bishop Gilmore passed away, but he left behind him a stronger community. This Virtual Exhibit represents only a portion of the records and photos the Diocesan Archives holds in its Bishop Gilmore Collection. A forthcoming book, My Priests Can Do Anything: The Bishop's Story, by Rev. Joseph Oblinger will further elucidate the life of Bishop Joseph M. Gilmore. It is due off the press in May 2011.

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Bishop Joseph M. Gilmore