GARY, Ind. — In his introductory press conference in November as the bishop-elect of Gary, Ind., then-Msgr. Robert McClory told his new flock, “I love you.”

Three months later, at his episcopal ordination as the Diocese of Gary’s fifth bishop, the Detroit native doubled down on that love, committing himself to “love, honor and cherish” the people of northwest Indiana “all the days of my life.”

Bishop McClory, 56, the former pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, was ordained and installed as Gary’s bishop Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, as more than 800 bishops, priests, deacons, lay leaders, family, friends and faithful gathered at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary, the diocese’s episcopal seat.

With a Catholic population of 168,500, the Diocese of Gary covers 1,807 miles in four counties of northwest Indiana, about 30 miles southeast of Chicago. It has 64 parishes, two colleges, four high schools and 17 Catholic elementary schools. Like Detroit, Gary is a largely industrial city.

“Coming from Detroit, (Bishop McClory) has seen the changed economic conditions and the loss of hope that comes when industries are shuttered,” Fr. Michael Yadron, pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster, Ind., and interim administrator for the Diocese of Gary, said in a statement.

Bishop McClory wasted little time reassuring his new diocese of his deep care and concern.

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