The Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, STD, SSL
Bishop Emeritus of Erie

A Short Biography of Bishop Trautman
Curriculum Vitae

Bishop Donald W. Trautman has had a wide range of pastoral, educational and administrative experience: parish priest, seminary Professor of Scripture and Doctrine, Chancellor, Vicar General, Pastor, Auxiliary Bishop and Diocesan Bishop.

Bishop Trautman shepherded God’s people for 27 years as a Bishop, with 22 of those years as the Diocesan Bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania. He served two elected terms (six years) as the Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Liturgy and played a prominent role in translation issues relative to the Lectionary and New Roman Missal. He is the former Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.  

He studied for the priesthood in Innsbruck, Austria, where he received his licentiate in sacred theology. He was a student of Karl Rahner and noted liturgist Josef Jungmann. Bishop Trautman pursued higher studies in biblical languages at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and continued his post-graduate work at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome where he received his licentiate degree in Scripture. He also earned a doctorate in sacred theology from St. Thomas Aquinas University, Rome.

Prior to his ordination as Bishop, he taught in the seminary, served as Rector, and served as Chancellor, Vicar General, Auxiliary Bishop and Pastor in his home diocese of Buffalo, New York.

Notre Dame University Center of Pastoral Liturgy named Bishop Trautman a recipient of the Michael Mathis Award, its highest honor bestowed for outstanding contributions to liturgy. The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions’ annual Msgr. Frederick R. McManus Award was presented to him in 2003. Recipient of several honorary doctorates, St. John’s University in New York honored him with its highest recognition — its Gold Medal. Bishop Trautman has written extensively on liturgy and Scripture, with articles appearing in America and Worship.

For over 25 years he served as episcopal moderator of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference and for 22 years served as chairman of the board of trustees of Gannon University in Erie. Presently he is active in retreat ministry, days of recollection, and continues as an active member of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and is a member of the board of trustees of St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore.