Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Catholic Diocese of San Diego Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom dies at 83

An undated photo of Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom.
Courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
An undated photo of Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom.

The funeral for Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom, who built many churches and two high schools in 23 years heading the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, is scheduled for May 17 .

Brom died Monday at age 83. The cause of death was not announced.

"He was a natural teacher who constantly labored to bring the ecclesiology of the second Vatican council into the heart of the Diocese of San Diego," San Diego Catholic Bishop Robert McElroy said in announcing the death. "This dedication to the council also framed his life-long service in forming men for the priesthood.


"Bishop Brom's deep love for our parishes and pastoral vision were complemented by a keen administrative capability in guiding San Diego through years of joy and hardship. In his retirement years Bishop Brom intensified the prison ministry that he began as bishop and his service to the Missionaries of Charity."

Brom was appointed by Pope John Paul II to be coadjutor bishop of San Diego on April 22, 1989, to assist Bishop Leo Maher, then became bishop of San Diego on July 10, 1990, following Maher's resignation. He resigned Sept. 18, 2013, his 75th birthday. Catholic bishops are required to step down as of their 75th birthday.

In 2007, Brom approved the second-highest settlement in the U.S. for priest sex abuse cases, $198.1 million for 144 victims. The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, the largest diocese in the United States to file for such protection.

Brom was responsible for the creation of Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, replacing Marian Catholic High School in Imperial Beach, and Cathedral Catholic High School in Carmel Valley, California, replacing University of San Diego High School.

Brom was born in Arcadia, Wisconsin on Sept.18, 1938. He was ordained a priest of the Winona, Minnesota diocese on Dec. 18, 1963, and was appointed as bishop of Duluth in 1983 by Pope John Paul II.


Brom's funeral will be at Saint Thérese of Carmel Church in Del Mar Heights. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.