Bishop Donal R. Lamont, O.Carm. (1911 – 2003)

Most Rev Donal Lamont, M.A., S.T.L., was born on July 27, 1911, in Ballycastle, Co Antrim. He was educated in Northern Ireland, Terenure College, Dublin, University College Dublin, and Collegio Sant' Alberto, Rome. Bishop Lamont was Professed in the Order of Carmelites 1930 and Ordained Priest in Rome in 1937.

One of the first three to go to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), he was appointed Superior of the Carmelite Mission in Rhodesia in 1946, and Prefect Apostolic of Umtali (now Mutare) in 1953. He served as Bishop of Umtali from 1957 to 1982. Bishop Lamont attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), and was a member of the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity from 1962 until 1975. As President of the Rhodesia Catholic Bishops' Conference (1970-72), he represented the Conference at Roman Synods in 1969, 1971, and 1974.

Bishop Lamont was sentenced to prison for opposition to the regime in Rhodesia and deported from Rhodesia in March 1977. Returned to Umtali Diocese after Independence in 1980 he  resigned as Bishop of the Diocese in 1982, becoming the Emeritus Bishop of Mutare. In recognition of his work he received an honorary LL.D from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Seton Hall, New Jersey; Mount St Mary's, Maryland; and Marymount, New York. A postage stamp was issued in his honour by the Government of Kenya in 1979. He was given the People of God Award by the Washington Theological Union and was asked to be a nominator for the Templeton Prize for Progress in 1976.

Bishop Lamont was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1978 (which was awarded jointly to President Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel).

He retired to the Carmelite Community, Terenure College, where he passed away in August, 2003.

Purchased People
Bishop Lamont's 1959 Pastoral Letter is available in PDF format here.

An Open Letter to the Rhodesian Government
Bishop Lamont's Letter of August 11, 1976, is available here.

Washington Press Conference Speech
On October 11, 1978, Dr Lamont gave a press conference in Washington DC during the controversial to the United States of Mr Ian Smith, then Prime Minister of Rhodesia. The full text of the speech is available here.

A Bishop Could Not Do Otherwise: The Life & Witness of Bishop Donal Lamont (1911-2003).
Miceal O'Neill, O,Carm.
Dublin: Columba Press. 2013. ISBN: 9781782180678.

Ad Gentes: A Missionary Bishop Remembers - Bishop Lamont recalls his intervention at the Second Vatican Council on the Decree Ad Gentes.