THE DIOCESE OF GALLUP IN NEW MEXICO AND ARIZONA  
Pastoral Center Office . P.O. Box 1338 . Gallup, NM 87305 . (505)863-4406   

 
 
 
   

 

Most Rev. Donald E. Pelotte

Bishop Pelotte is on a one-year medical leave of absence from his position as Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup. The announcement of the leave was made on January 3, 2008.  Bishop Pelotte was injured in a fall at his home in July of 2007 and has been undergoing treatment since that time. With the announcement of the medical leave, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix has assumed the duties of apostolic administrator sede plena of the diocese.

Bishop Donald Edmond Pelotte, SSS, was born in Waterville, Maine on April 13, 1945, the son of Norris Albert and Margaret Yvonne (nee LaBrie) Pelotte. He and his twin brother Dana (also a member of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament) are the youngest of five boys, Norris Jr., and Roger of Waterville Maine. Richard, formerly of Pacifica, California. His parents are both deceased; his father in 1963 and his mother in 1985. Bishop Pelotte's father was of the Abenaki Tribe - his grandparents were born in Abenaki, Canada. His mother was of French-Canadian decent.

Bishop Pelotte received his early education in Waterville, Maine public school system. After receiving his high school education at Eymard Seminary in Hyde Park, New York, he attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio and was awarded a B.A. degree in Philosophy in June, 1969. While studying for the priesthood at Blessed Sacrament Seminary, he completed his doctoral studies at Fordham University, Bronx, New York and was granted a Ph.D. in Theology on June 6, 1975.

His doctoral thesis entitled: "John Courtney Murray, Theologian in Conflict: Roman Catholicism and the American Experience," was a historical and theological analysis of the relationship of the Church and State in the United States and the American experience of religious freedom. This dissertation was published by Paulist Press in 1976 for the American Bicentennial and was granted the Catholic Book of the Month Award by the Catholic Book Club in October, 1976.

Bishop Pelotte professed his religious vows in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament on August 22, 1967. He was ordained a priest on September 2, 1972 by Bishop Edward O'Leary of the Diocese of Portland, Maine.

While he was provincial, he was, at 33 years of age, the youngest major superior of a men's community in the country. Prior to his election, he had been director of students for the American sector of the Province and Rector - Superior of the Blessed Sacrament Community in Cleveland, Ohio. During his last year as provincial of his community, on February 24, 1986, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Coadjutor Bishop of Gallup, and was ordained at Red Rock State Park near Gallup, on May 6, 1986.

On March 20, 1990 with the retirement of Bishop Jerome Hastrich, Bishop Pelotte became the third Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup.