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Lawrence Donald Soens (born August 26, 1926) is a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as Bishop of Sioux City in the state of Iowa from 1983 to 1998.

Lawrence Donald Soens

Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City
ChurchCatholic Church
AppointedJune 15, 1983
InstalledAugust 17, 1983
Term endedNovember 28, 1998
PredecessorFrank Henry Greteman
SuccessorDaniel DiNardo
OrdinationMay 6, 1950
ConsecrationAugust 17, 1983
by James Joseph Byrne, Gerald Francis O'Keefe, and Frank Henry Greteman
Personal details
Born (1926-08-26) August 26, 1926 (age 92)
Iowa City, Iowa
Styles of
Lawrence Donald Soens
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop
Ordination history of
Lawrence Donald Soens
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byJames Joseph Byrne
DateAugust 17, 1983
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Lawrence Donald Soens as principal consecrator
Daniel DiNardoOctober 7, 1997



Early life & MinistryEdit

Soens was born in Iowa City, Iowa on August 26, 1926. He was educated at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Saint Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa and studied for the priesthood at Kenrick Seminary near Saint Louis, Missouri. He also completed graduate studies at the University of Iowa.[1]

He was ordained a priest on May 6, 1950 for the Diocese of Davenport. He was engaged in both academic and pastoral work in the diocese as a priest. Soens' first assignment was as an assistant pastor at St. Paul's Church in Burlington. He then joined the faculty of St. Ambrose Academy in Davenport and then became the assistant pastor at St. Bridget's Church in Victor. Soen's next assignment was as director of Regina High School in Iowa City. He went on to become the rector of St. Ambrose Seminary and served on the faculty of St. Ambrose College in Davenport. His next assignment was as pastor at Assumption Church in Charlotte and St. Patrick in Villa Nova. He was pastor at St. Mary's Church in Clinton when Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor, with the title of Monsignor on December 18, 1981.[2]

Bishop of Sioux CityEdit

On June 15, 1983 Pope John Paul II named Soens as the fifth bishop of Sioux City. He was ordained a bishop and installed on August 17, 1983 at the Cathedral of the Ephiphany by Archbishop James Joseph Byrne. Bishops Gerald Francis O'Keefe of Davenport and Frank Henry Greteman Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City were the principal co-consecrators.[3] While he was bishop of the diocese many programs were established or expanded including: Ministry 2000, the Priests Retirement Fund, youth ministry programs and the diocese mandated parish pastoral and finance commissions.[4]

In 1997 Soens requested a coadjutor bishop be named and on August 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Daniel DiNardo from the Diocese of Piitsburgh.[5] Soens resignation as Bishop of Sioux City was accepted by the Holy See on November 28, 1998, and he was named Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City.

Abuse ScandalEdit

After his resignation as bishop of Sioux City he was accused of fondling as many as 15 students during his tenure as principal at Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City during the 1960s. Soens denies the allegations. Numerous allegations continue, however, and the actual number of students who say he abused them has risen.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bunson, Matthew (2010). 2010 Catholic Almanac. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor. p. 414.
  2. ^ "Seven priests celebrate jubilees". The Catholic Globe. 2004-04-14. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  3. ^ "Bishop Lawrence Donald Soens". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. ^ Diocese of Sioux City History,[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Daniel Nicholas Cardinal DiNardo". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  6. ^

External linksEdit

Episcopal successionEdit