Home Obituaries Father Thomas J. Peterman, longtime Diocese of Wilmington priest and historian, dies...

Father Thomas J. Peterman, longtime Diocese of Wilmington priest and historian, dies at 90

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Father Peterman
Father Thomas Peterman, seen here in 2018, spent a lifetime researching the Diocese of Wilmington. The Dialog/Don Blake

Longtime Diocese of Wilmington historian, author and priest, Father Thomas J. Peterman, died earlier this afternoon, Aug. 3.

Father Peterman, 90, was a native of Delaware and the former pastor of Saint Dennis, Galena. He had also been pastor at Sacred Heart, Chestertown, Md., Holy Cross, Dover, Saint Mary Magdalen, Wilmington, and Good Shepherd, Perryville, Md. He had also served on the faculty of Corpus Christi High School and was principal of Holy Cross High School and Saint Elizabeth High School. He was ordained in 1957.

Father Peterman had been in residence at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Wilmington.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

Father Peterman completed his latest book, “John James Monaghan, D.D.: Third Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington” in December 2019.

Father Thomas Peterman

The book was 256 pages, many of those containing footnotes from Father Peterman’s research. Father Peterman told The Dialog in 2018 that the book was a five-year project. It was published toward the end of the diocesan sesquicentennial. He wrote the book at the suggestion of the diocesan archivist because Father Monaghan’s life had not been subject to much research, he said.

It was the ninth book he authored.

“Bishop Monaghan’s life has been interesting to research,” Father Peterman told The Dialog. “He was well known to my grandfather in Milford. … He was also well known to the late Monsignor John Donahue, who like many others described him as ‘a southern gentleman.’”