Meet our Bishop

Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D.,
Bishop of The Diocese of Norwich

"We stand with all those suffering. We extend our hearts, our hands and our means to help as faithful Catholics and grateful citizens of a great Nation."

Birthplace: Sanford, Maine
Parents: Paul E. and Margaret Alma (Trottier) Cote

Notre Dame School, Springvale
Bathurst College, Bathhurst, N.B., Canada (3 yrs)
Our Lady of Lourdes Seminary, Cassadaga, N.Y., (1yr)
Assumption College, Worcester, Mass. (2 yrs)
St. Mary’s Seminary and College, Baltimore, Md. (2 yrs)

North American College, Rome, Italy

Canon Law:
Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (JCL 1981)

Ordained a Priest:
June 29, 1975 St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. His Holiness, Pope Paul VI

Ordained a Bishop:
Appointed Auxiliary Bishop: Diocese of Portland - May 9, 1995
Consecrated Auxiliary Bishop: Diocese of Portland - July 27, 1995
Appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Norwich - March 11, 2003
Installed as 5th Bishop of the Diocese of Norwich - May 14, 2003

Other Appointments:
Chaplain: Rumford District of Maine Diocesan Council
of Catholic Women, 1976
Chaplain: Caribou Council of Maine Diocesan Council
of Catholic Women, 1978
Member: Council of Priests (5-year term) 1994
Chairman: Council of Priests, 1994
Member: Plenary Council, St. Dominic Regional High School, 1994
Member: USCC Committee on Communications (3-year term), 1996
Member: Subcommittee for Liaison with Catholic News Service (ongoing)
Member: St. Joseph Foundation & Hospital Board of Directors,
Bangor, Maine, 1997
Member: NCCB Restructuring Committee (3 years) 1997
Member: NCCB Canonical Affairs Committee (6 years) 1997
Chairman: USCCB Region I, 2001
Member: USCCB Subcommittee on Youth (3 years) 2002
Priestly Life & Ministry: Liasion, Catholic Coalition on Preaching
Priorities and Plans Committee 2006-2009
Connecticut Catholic Conference:
Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, CT, Chancellor
Board of Directors for Cross International Catholic Outreach 2005-2011

Bishop Cote’s Coat of Arms:
The Norwich Diocesan coat of arms and Bishop Cote's coat of arms are linked in one shield. The left half of the shield, contains the jurisdictional arms of the Diocese of Norwich. The right half contains the bishop's coat of arms.

The arrangement of elements in Bishop Cote's coat of arms reflects his heritage and life as a priest. The blue background of the shield signifies the color of the Atlantic Ocean, which makes up the Eastern boundary of Bishop Cote's home state of Maine. The color blue, used in Royal French coats of arms, also signifies the French heritage of his parents, Margaret Alma Trottier and Paul E. Cote.

The white moline cross with its arms ending in anchors lies at the shield's center, is taken from the arms of the Diocese of Portland. Six gold mountains, called the "Montini Mountains" are emblazoned under the cross. The mountains are taken from the arms of Giovanni Battista Montini who became Pope Paul VI. Bishop Cote chose the arms because he was ordained to the priesthood by his Holiness Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975.

The gold star in the upper left of the design honors Mary in her title, "Star of the Sea."

Bishop Cote's motto: "Above All Charity," is taken from St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians (3:14): "Above all things put on charity which binds everything together in perfect harmony."

Behind the shield is a gold processional cross, which extends above and below the shield and a pontifical hat called a "gallero" with three rows of tassels on either side of the shield. The Holy See has designated these elements as the heraldic insignia of a bishop.

The Diocese of Norwich is the presence of the Roman Catholic Church in eastern Connecticut. The Diocese includes the four counties of Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham in the State of Connecticut and Fisher’s Island, a portion of Suffolk County in the State of New York. The clergy, religious and lay people of the Diocese have as their purpose:

  • To invite and to assist all people to respond to God’s universal call to holiness;
  • To proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ by word and action;
  • To nurture the spiritual growth of its members through prayer, teaching and the sacraments.