Bishop Pierre DuMaine died peacefully Thursday evening, June 13, 2019, after dealing with declining health for the last few years. He was 87 years old. Bishop DuMaine was the founding bishop of the Diocese of San Jose, established in 1981. He served as bishop for the first 18 years of the Diocese of San Jose.
When I was first named coadjutor of the diocese last summer, Bishop McGrath took me to meet Bishop DuMaine. I saw that visit as a moment of grace: the first three bishops of San Jose sharing in conversation and a moment of fraternity together. I also visited Bishop DuMaine on Holy Thursday, during Holy Week. While he was already in hospice care because of his declining health, we were nonetheless able to engage in conversation. Most importantly, I appreciated simply spending time with a great human being, with this important figure in the history of the Diocese of San Jose.
Bishop DuMaine was born in Paducah, Kentucky, on August 2, 1931. Educated in Catholic schools in Paducah and California, he attended Saint Joseph’s College, Mountain View, and Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Bishop DuMaine was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 15, 1957. He earned his doctorate in education at the Catholic University of America in 1961 where he served as Assistant Professor until 1963. From 1963 through 1965 Bishop DuMaine taught at Serra High School. He then served as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of San Francisco from 1965-78. Bishop DuMaine was named Prelate of Honor on July 18, 1972. He was ordained bishop in San Francisco on June 29, 1978, where he served as auxiliary bishop for three years.
He was founding Director of Catholic Television Network in Menlo Park from 1978-1981.
On January 27, 1981, Bishop DuMaine was named by Pope John Paul II as the first bishop of the new Diocese of San Jose, where he was officially installed on March 18, 1981. His request to retire was accepted by the Holy Father on November 27, 1999.
Since retirement Bishop DuMaine had remained active in national Bishops’ Committees for Science and Human Values and for Women in Society and the Church. He participated in dialogues and conferences on Science and Religion, and has taught in Religious Studies Departments at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. Santa Clara appointed him Presidential Professor of Catholic Theology.
Bishop DuMaine, rest in peace. Thank you for your service to humanity and to our Church!