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FutureChurch Mourns the Death of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

Retired Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton died on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at the age 94. Bishop Gumbleton was known for his advocacy and activism on a number of important social issues from nuclear disarmament, to ending hunger, to eradicating racism. An active participant in the Catholic peace and justice movement, Gumbleton was a founding member of both Pax Christi USA and Bread for the World. He was also courageously outspoken on issues of justice in the Church – including the ordination of women, the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community, and accountability for perpetrators of clergy sexual abuse.

“Bishop Gumbleton was a good friend, ally, and source of inspiration to so many who worked for justice in the world and in the Catholic Church,” said Russ Petrus, executive director of FutureChurch. “His prophetic presence in the hierarchy and his compassionate solidarity at the peripheries will be sorely missed.”

Left to Right: Deborah Rose, Bishop Gumbleton, and Christine Schenk, CSJ

A long-time friend of FutureChurch, Bishop Gumbleton was present and co-presided at the 2013 prayer service for the transition of leadership from founding executive director Christine Schenk, CSJ to her successor Deborah Rose, who retired at the end of 2023. Schenk described Bishop Gumbleton as a “grace-filled, loving, and inspiring leader.” And Rose said “he banished shadows with his light.”

Bishop Gumbleton briefly served as a member of the FutureChurch board and most recently as board member emeritus.

FutureChurch joins his family, friends, and loved ones in prayer and thanksgiving for his life:

Eternal rest, grant unto him, Loving God,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
Amen.