Bishop Robert J. McClory, B.A., M.P.A., J.D., S.T.B., J.C.L., D.D.

25th Anniversary Special Section

Most Reverend Robert J. McClory, was appointed by Pope Francis as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Gary on November 26, 2019, and ordained and installed bishop at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on Feb. 11, 2020, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Born in Detroit, he is the youngest of four children of James and Ann McClory (both deceased). He attended grade school at St. Francis DeSales in Detroit and St. Mary in Royal Oak and graduated from Dondero High School in Royal Oak.

Bishop McClory earned a bachelor’s in political science and communications from Oakland University in 1985, a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Columbia University in 1987 (with a concentration in economic development), and a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1991.

After practicing civil law for three years, he entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He continued as a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he obtained a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1998 from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Urbe (Angelicum) in 2000.

Bishop McClory was ordained a deacon by Cardinal Edmund Szoka in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on Oct. 8, 1998, and ordained a priest at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit by Cardinal Adam Maida on May 22, 1999.

Then-Father McClory served as associate pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township and St. Isidore Parish in Macomb Township, with weekend assignments at Our Lady of the Lakes in Waterford; St. Blase in Sterling Heights; and St. Andrew, Rochester. He served as a judge on the Metropolitan Tribunal and was administrative secretary to Cardinal Maida before being appointed chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2003.

In 2005, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI and given the title of monsignor.

In 2009, Archbishop Vigneron appointed then-Monsignor McClory to become moderator of the curia and vicar general, where he served as chief of staff, coordinating the central offices of the archdiocese. During this time, he also served as pastor of Presentation Our Lady of Victory parish in Detroit.

In 2017, then-Monsignor McClory became pastor and rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, which included serving as President of Shrine Catholic Schools with over 1,000 students in the Early Childhood Education Center, Grade School, Middle School Academy, and High School. He served there until his appointment to the Diocese of Gary.

Bishop McClory served as an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, teaching canon law. He was also a member of the archdiocesan College of Consultors, Episcopal Council, Presbyteral Council, Priest Assignment Board, and New Evangelization Council. He served on numerous boards during his time with the Archdiocese of Detroit, including Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, St. Catherine of Siena Academy in Wixom and Loyola High School in Detroit.

Bishop McClory also served as a consultant to the Catholic Leadership Institute, priest-observer to Region VI of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), spiritual advisor for the Catholic Lawyers Society of Detroit and chaplain to Legatus, an association of Catholic business professionals.

He is a member of the Canon Law Society of America, a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus and serves as spiritual advisor to Detroit Team Eight for Teams of Our Lady, a marriage enrichment apostolate.

Bishop McClory is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He serves on the USCCB Budget and Finance Committee and the Committee for Religious Liberty.

Since his installation as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Gary, Bishop McClory has embraced the vision delivered on that occasion on behalf of Pope Francis by the papal nuncio “to lead the people of the Diocese of Gary to be both disciples and missionaries.”

In 2020, Bishop McClory guided parishes through the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus with ingenuity and encouragement to the faithful to “thrive” and be a light in the darkness.

A principal project for Bishop McClory has been to reinvigorate the 2017 diocesan Synod by initiating Synod ‘21. Listening sessions were held throughout the diocese including priests, religious, deacons, parish leaders, multicultural representatives, youth and other faithful to discern areas of focus for the diocese.

In response to synodal listening sessions, on Feb. 2, 2022, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Bishop McClory released, “We Proclaim Jesus as Lord!” – his first pastoral letter – on missionary discipleship. The letter has been used by parishes and Catholic schools to continue a synodal way of listening and exploring how the faithful can respond to their call to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Beginning in 2023 Bishop McClory followed up with intensive visitations to all parishes to meet with leaders and hear of parish progress on synod goals. The diocesan pastoral center was also reorganized to emphasize collaboration in ministry with a focus on missionary discipleship and supporting parishes and the faithful grow in their call to share Christ in word and deed.