Bishop F. Joseph Gossman was installed as the fourth bishop of Raleigh on May 19, 1975, succeeding Bishop Vincent Waters who had died the previous December after serving nearly 30 years as bishop.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, April 1, 1930, he is the son of Frank M. and Genevieve Steadman Gossman. He attended St. Charles College and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1952. He continued studies at the North American College in Rome, obtaining his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome, in 1956.
Bishop Gossman was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Rome, December 17, 1955. In 1956, he began graduate studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a doctorate in canon law in June 1959.
He served as an assistant pastor at Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption until July 1968, at which time he was appointed administrator of the Cathedral of Mary, Our Queen in Baltimore. He also served as vice-chancellor of the archdiocese from 1959-1968. He was elevated to the position of monsignor June 27, 1965.
In July 1968, he was named auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and was ordained a bishop on September 11, 1968, by Cardinal Lawrence Sheehan. In mid-1970, Bishop Gossman was named urban vicar, with the inner city of Baltimore and its people his special area of ministry.
He served as Bishop of Raleigh until his retirement was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI on June 8, 2006.