Bishop Robert J. McClory, B.A., M.P.A., J.D., S.T.B., J.C.L., D.D.
Most Reverend Robert J. McClory was ordained a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church and installed as the fifth bishop for the Diocese of Gary on Feb. 11, 2020, the feast of our Lady of Lourdes, at Cathedral of the Holy Angels in Gary. More than 800 faithful, including family and friends, community leaders, deacons, religious, priests and bishops from across the country gathered to witness the ordination and installation.
The youngest of four children born to Jim and Ann McClory, now both deceased, who met as members of the Third Order of St. Francis at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, Bishop McClory was raised in a loving home that was dedicated to the Catholic faith.
"I am most grateful for the gift of faith that they gave me," said Bishop McClory, who honors his family in his coat of arms. The heraldry includes a triple-knotted white cincture that honors not only St. Francis of Assisi, but more significantly the bishop's parents and the sacrament of matrimony.
A red rose often used to symbolize St. Therese of Lisieux, known as the "Little Flower of Jesus," is also featured on the coat of arms, acknowledging the patroness of the McClory Family, who attribute many blessings to her intervention.
In high school, Bob McClory joined Kwuananea, a Catholic youth group that focused on praise and worship, which enlivened his faith during his teen years.
Bishop McClory earned a bachelor's degree in political science and communications from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., in 1985, and served as student body president. He next received a master's in public policy and administration from Columbia University in New York and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
During law school, Bishop McClory began to reflect more seriously on whether he had a calling to the priesthood. While practicing law from 1991 to 1994, Bishop McClory realized he needed to resolve his call to the priesthood once and for all, and he entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit to study philosophy. He was later sent to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sacred theology in 1998 from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He completed his license in canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome in 2000.
Ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1999, Bishop McClory has held several pastoral assignments and positions within the Archdiocese of Detroit, including a stint as vicar general and moderator of the curia of the Archdiocese of Detroit, serving as chief of staff for Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron.
A part-time faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary graduate school of theology in Detroit, Bishop McClory served on the boards of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, St. Catherine of Siena Academy (Wixom) and Loyola High School (Detroit). He has been the spiritual advisor for the Catholic Lawyers Society of Detroit and the chaplain to the Detroit Northeast Chapter of Legatus, an organization for Catholic business leaders, and Detroit Team Eight for Teams of Our Lady, a marriage enrichment apostolate.
He has been a priest-observer for Region VI of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a member of the Canon Law Society of America and served as a member of the Committee on Civil and Canon Law. He is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a third-degree Knight of Columbus.
Before coming to Gary, Bishop McClory was pastor and rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica and President of Shrine Catholic Schools in Royal Oak, Mich., his hometown after his family moved to the suburb from Detroit when he was a youngster. He also served as pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory, a predominantly African-American parish in the City of Detroit, and assisted at several other parishes.