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Bishop McNamara High School is sad to announce that Bishop Emeritus William George Curlin, passed away on December 23 at 90 years old.
Bishop Curlin was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1957 at age 29 by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle. Early in his ministry, Bishop Curlin resided at St. Gabriel's parish with Bishop John M. McNamara. Bishop McNamara's influence in Bishop Curlin's life and ministry was so strong that his episcopal motto became "Entire Cum Christo" ("To Think With Christ"), words that were spoken often by Bishop McNamara and from which our school motto came.
Curlin finished his ministerial career in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he served as Bishop from 1994-2002. On November 2, 1988, Curlin was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and titular Bishop of Rossmarkaeum by Pope John Paul II. During his time in Washington, he founded several homes for the poor and homeless with terminal diseases, AIDS in particular, and began a lengthy collaboration and friendship with Mother Teresa.
Bishop Curlin was noted as a powerful homilist, often bringing listeners to tears with his stories of the love of God and reconciliation between enemies and in broken families – as well as the miracles that he has personally witnessed. Even in his retirement, Bishop Curlin continued to actively serve the spiritual needs of others, especially the sick and dying.
Bishop Curlin was a close friend of the Mona family, and served as confessor to Andy Mona '82. Bishop Curlin was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1957 at age 29 by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle. Early in his ministry, Bishop Curlin resided at St. Gabriel's parish with Bishop John M. McNamara. Bishop McNamara's influence in Bishop Curlin's life and ministry was so strong that his episcopal motto became "Entire Cum Christo" ("To Think With Christ")
He was also a longtime friend and confessor of St. Teresa. He first met Mother Teresa of Calcutta during his ministry to the poor and homeless in the 1970s in Washington. When she visited Charlotte in 1995, he also welcomed her order, the Missionaries of Charity, to open a convent in east Charlotte where the sisters continue to care for the poorest and most vulnerable. Their close friendship lasted more than 20 years, until her death. Bishop Curlin was one of those asked to contribute to the official investigation of her life for the cause for her canonization. In 2016 she was officially declared a saint.
"She saw with an inner vision," said Bishop Curlin during a memorial Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral two years after St. Teresa's death. "She saw with her heart. It was her belief that if you want to touch God, you reach down and touch a crying child, a dying person, you feed the homeless or just reach out to the broken-hearted."
Several newspapers have published articles to commemorate the life of Bishop Curlin, including the Catholic Standard, the Charlotte Observer, and the Catholic Herald. His obituary can be found by clicking here.
The reception of the body took place at St. Gabriel Church, 3016 Providence Road in Charlotte on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at St. Gabriel Church. After the funeral Mass, Bishop Curlin was buried at Belmont Abbey in Belmont.