Bishop Donald Pelotte (Catholic News Agency photo)
Infection and internal bleeding caused death of first Native American Roman Catholic bishop in the United States, New Mexico station KRQE reports here.
Former Bishop Donald Pelotte of the Archdiocese of Gallup died last week in Florida of an infection that affected his entire body.
Pelotte, whose father was Abenaki, moved to Florida after retiring two years ago in the wake of serious injuries he suffered at his home in Gallup. He said the injuries occurred in a fall, although authorities later questioned that account. (See previous post, here.)
KQRE reports that a vigil for Pelotte will be held at 7 tonight at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, and a Funeral mass is set for tomorrow at 11 a.m. He’ll be buried in the cathedral’s crypt.
Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Pelotte of Gallup, preaches at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, N.M., in 2007 (AP)
Here’s the entire story from the Associated Press:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup says former bishop Donald Pelotte has died at a Florida hospital. He was 64.
The diocese says Pelotte, who was the nation’s first American Indian bishop, was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 27 and never recovered from his illness.
The diocese did not release details about Pelotte’s illness. Spokesman Lee Lamb said Thursday that Pelotte’s death was not related to any injuries he suffered during an apparent fall in his Gallup home in July 2007.
Pelotte retired after the incident in April 2008 and moved to Florida.
Pelotte was ordained in 1972. He became the first American Indian bishop in 1990. His father was a member of the Abenaki tribe.