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Dominic Carmon, retired N.O. auxiliary bishop, dies at 87

Dominic Carmon, the Archdiocese of New Orleans' second African-American bishop, was appointed auxiliary bishop in 1992 and served until 2006.
Credit: Archdiocese of New Orleans
Bishop Dominic Carmon

Bishop Dominic Carmon, SVD, a retired Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, died Sunday. He was 87.

Carmon served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans from 1993 to 2006, when he retired.

Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop in 1992, at the request of Archbishop Francis Schulte. His appointment came one year after the death of Bishop Harold Perry, the country's and the local Archdiocese's first African-American bishop in the 20th century.

"The appointment of a second African-American auxiliary for New Orleans is a clear recognition by the Holy Father of historic importance of African-Americans in the history of this archdiocese," Schulte said at the time.

"First of all, my role is to serve the entire community, and I hope to be a worthy representative of the African-American community by my dedication, my fidelity to the work of the church," Carmon said in a Dec. 1992 Times-Picayune article. "I am here to serve everyone."

As bishop, Carmon also served as pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Gentilly and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Kenner.

A native of Opelousas, Louisiana, and the eldest of seven children, Carmon grew up in a tiny farming community in southwest Louisiana. In 1946, he entered St. Augustine Seminary of the Divine Word Missionaries in Bay St. Louis. He was ordained as a priest of the Society of Divine Word order in 1960.

In addition to serving as a parish priest in Opelousas, he also worked in Chicago and as a missionary in New Guinea.

According to the Archdiocese of New Orleans, funeral services will include a prayer service at noon on Nov. 16 at Notre Dame Seminary, where visitation will continue until 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Louis Cathderal.

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