Most Reverend Norbert F. Gaughan, D.D., Ph.D.
Ordained November 4, 1945
Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Greensburg April 2, 1975
Consecrated June 26, 1975
Appointed Bishop of Gary July 24, 1984
Installed as Bishop of Gary October 2, 1984
Retired June 1, 1996
Died October 1, 1999
Quoted from In the Presence of Angels by Dominic V. Bertino with permission of the author.
Norbert Felix Gaughan, a native of Pennsylvania, was ordained for the Diocese of Pittsburgh on November 4, 1945. At the time of his appointment as bishop of Gary, he was an auxiliary bishop serving as the Vicar General for the Diocese of Greenburg. At the beginning of Bishop Gaughan’s ministry to the Gary diocese, there were 114 active diocesan priests; 83 parishes; 40 parish schools; and a Catholic population of 195,032. Although no new parishes were established during Bishop Gaughan’s tenure, he ordained 13 priests for service to the diocese, moved the diocesan offices to a new building (the Pastoral Center) in Merrillville, and established the Northwest Indiana Catholic, the weekly diocesan newspaper. In 1986, he established the Catholic Services Appeal to bring financial resources to the work of the Church. His program “We Can Change the Future” set norms for the establishment of pastoral councils and better communication between parishes and diocesan offices.
Although a minor stroke in 1989 did not deter him from his duties, a far more debilitating attack in February of 1992 left him seriously impaired. In August of that year, the Vatican appointed Bishop Dale J. Melczek, an auxiliary bishop from Detroit, as Apostolic Administrator to oversee the management of the diocese. Though valiant in his attempts to continue to minister to the people of the diocese, Bishop Gaughan spent the last years of his life at St. Anthony Home in Crown Point. He died on October 1, 1999, and is buried in the Saint Emma cemetery in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.