Most Rev. Michael R. Cote (1995-2003)
Bishop Michael R. Cote was born in Sanford, Maine on June 19, 1949. Following his high school graduation from Our Lady of Lourdes Seminary in Cassadaga, NY, he attended Assumption College in Worcester, MA, and St. Mary's Seminary College in Baltimore, MD, where he received a B.A. in Philosophy. He received an M.A. in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1975. From 1979-1981 he attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received a J.C.L. in Canon Law.
Father Cote was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on June 29, 1975. He served as a parochial vicar at Saints Athanasius and John Parish in Rumford, ME and at Holy Rosary Parish in Caribou, ME from 1975-1978. Following his return from Catholic University in 1981, he was appointed Adjutant Judicial Vicar of the Diocesan Tribunal. In 1989 he was released from Diocesan ministry in order to accept an appointment as Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's Embassy to the United States, in Washington, D.C. Father Cote returned to Diocesan ministry in 1994, after the completion of his term at the Nunciature. Upon his return to Maine, Father Cote served as Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Auburn, 1994-1995.
After having been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Portland by Pope John Paul II on May 9, 1995, his ordination as Bishop took place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, ME on July 27, that same year. Bishop Cote served in a number of positions in the Diocese, both before and after his ordination as Bishop. From 1980-1989 he was Notary for the Diocesan Tribunal in Portland. From 1984-1987 he served as a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. In 1994 he started a 5-year term on the Council of Priests, and on November 8 of that year he became Chairman of the Council. Also in 1994 he was named to the College of Consultors for a 5-year term. In 2001, he served as Chairman of the USCCB Region I and in 2002 he was named to a 3-year term as Member of the USCCB Subcommittee on Youth.
Bishop Cote has also been active nationally for a number of years. In 1996 he was named to a three-year term on the Committee on Communications of the United States Catholic Conference (USCC). In 1997 he was named to a 6-year term as a member of the Canonical Affairs Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and the USCC's Communication Subcommittee for the Catholic News Service. In 2001 he served as Chairman of the USCCB Region I, and in 2002 he was named to a 3-year term as Member of the USCCB Subcommittee on Youth.
Bishop Cote worked closely with Bishop Joseph Gerry in all Diocesan matters throughout the State of Maine, with his primary ministry to the parishes in the northern part of the State.
On March 11, 2003, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Cote as Bishop of the Diocese of Norwalk, CT, and his installation took place on May 14, 2003.