Bishop Loras’ Great-Nephews Visit from France

Special guests from France helped Loras College celebrate the installation of Archbishop Michael O. Jackels, and kick off our 175th anniversary celebration. Regis, Emmanuel and Frederic Loras, great-nephews of our founder Bishop Mathias Loras, visited campus at the end of May.

Regis, a fourth great-nephew of Bishop Loras, and his sons Emmanuel and Frederic, fifth great-nephews to the bishop, were proud to be visiting the College that Mathias, an important figure in their family heritage, founded and nurtured.

“Loras College is part of our family history. Our great-uncle wrote a book about the Loras family in the 1960s and it concentrated on Bishop Loras and also talked about Loras College. Many people here have also researched and published books about Bishop Loras, which are interesting because it has helped us discover parts of our own family history,” explained Frederic. The trip was Frederic’s first to Dubuque.

Reflecting on Mathias’ efforts in Dubuque, Emmanuel noted, “He was a visionary to arrive in Dubuque, Indian country at the time, and create seminaries, convents, to build up education. He wanted to build up the city and the diocese.”

While in Dubuque, the family toured the city and the Loras College campus, visited with Msgr. Francis Friedl (’39) and Msgr. Robert Vogl (’44) – both of whom Regis met more than 50 years ago in France and who concelebrated the wedding of Frederic Loras in France. They also visited with Rev. Loras Otting (’58), editor of Letters to a Pioneer Bishop, a book of letters that were sent to Bishop Loras during his time in Dubuque. Regis worked with Otting to provide some of those letters. 

The Lorases also attended a luncheon at the Hotel Julien prior to Archbishop Jackel’s installment on May 30, where they met the new Archbishop and as a gift gave him a copy of a handwritten, pastoral letter by Bishop Loras and a copy of a letter written by Bishop Loras talking about his friendship with Saint John Vianney, the Cure d’Ars. The group attended the installation Mass, where the family was mentioned by the Archbishop, as well as the celebration afterward at Loras College’s Athletic and Wellness Center.  

Frederic’s thoughts on Bishop Loras’ endeavors in Dubuque sum up the tradition Loras College has worked to live out for 175 years. “He had a duty here. Each of us has our own journey in the world, and his included wishing to accept everyone and educate everyone.”
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