CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin, 90, died on Dec. 23, 2017. A funeral mass, which filled the sanctuary at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, was held on Jan.. 2 with a rite of committal following at Belmont Abbey Cemetery in Belmont, N.C.
“Champion of the poor, comforter of the sick and the dying, friend of St. Teresa of Calcutta, Bishop Curlin preached the love of Jesus Christ during more than 60 years of priestly ministry, first in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and the past 23 years in the Charlotte diocese. His lifelong commitment to Christ and His Church was epitomized by his episcopal motto ‘Sentire Cum Christo’ (‘To Think With Christ’),” the Catholic News Herald reported.
Curlin served as the third bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte. He also helped Fr. Gene McCreesh in the founding of the Diocesan Ministry for Gay & Lesbian Catholics at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Charlotte, N.C.
He was born on Aug. 30, 1927 in Portsmouth, Va. and was ordained with the priesthood on May 27, 1957. Other milestones along his life and celebrated career were being ordained as auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 1988; appointed bishop of Charlotte, Feb. 22, 1994; installed at bishop of Charlotte, April 13, 1994; and retirement as bishop on Sept. 10, 2002.
While in Washington, D.C., he collaborated with St. Teresa of Calcutta and opened the Gifts of Peace Home which served those living with HIV. When Curlin relocated to Charlotte, she visited him there and he welcomed her order, the Missionaries of Charity, to open a convent in East Charlotte to care for the poor and most vulnerable. His dedication to his faith and to the Catholic Church took him around the world serving both popes and humanity. He felt most at home out among people, the Catholic News Herald added.