Catholic Bishop Pelotte recovering from head injury 7-07

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) - Surgery expected July 26 on Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Pelotte of Gallup has been postponed indefinitely because doctors say he is healing normally, a Diocese of Gallup official said.

Pelotte, 62, was hospitalized at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix after falling in his home and suffering head injuries July 22.

Doctors said July 25 ``the normal healing process is taking place and that the bishop is recovering well,'' said the Rev. James P. Hoy, finance director for the diocese.

Hoy said, however, that surgery has not been ruled out entirely.

The bishop is conscious, Hoy said. Pelotte is listed in serious but stable condition.

Diocese officials found Pelotte on Monday after going to his house when he did not come in or answer his phone, Hoy said.

Pelotte, who was ordained in 1972, became the first American Indian bishop in 1990. Pelotte's father was a member of the Abenaki tribe.

The Diocese of Gallup encompasses all of San Juan and McKinley counties in New Mexico and most of northeastern Arizona.