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Created a diocese 2 July, 1826; raised to the rank of an archdiocese 20 July, 1847. It comprises that portion of the State of Missouri bounded on the north by the northern lines of the Counties of Pike, Audrain, Boone, and Howard, on the west by the western lines of the Counties Howard, Boone, Cole, Maries, Phelps, Texas and Howell, on the south by the State of Arkansas, and on the east by the Mississippi River, a territory of 26,235 square miles.
The City of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Liguest Laclède, a French nobleman, who came to Louisiana in 1755 and entered commercial life in New Orleans. In 1762 the firm of Maxent, Laclède and Co. were given the exclusive privilege of treating with the Indians of the North-west, and in the same year Monsieur Laclède with some companions came p to Fort Chartres in the interest of the firm. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 put an end to the privilege, and Monsieur Laclède purchased the interest of his partners, left Fort Chartres and landed on the west bank of the Mississippi, where in 1764 he selected a spot, at that time a wilderness, and here laid the foundation of St. Louis. He built the first house, employing Indian women and children in digging out the cellar and carrying the earth away in their blankets. By the Treaty of Paris, France ceded to Spain all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, but there was no formal occupation by the Spanish until 1770. St. Louis therefore during the first years of its existence belonged to the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba, a jurisdiction that extended throughout Louisiana. There were but two priests in the St. Louis territory: Father Luke Collet, a Recollect, and the Jesuit Father Meurin; the former died in 1765 leaving but one priest in the Mississippi Valley, the veteran Father Sebastian Louis Meurin. The story of good old Father Meurin is replete with tales of hardship and sacrifice made for the French and Indians of Illinois and Missouri. In 1766, finding the task too great, he wrote the Bishop of Quebec: "Ste Geneviève is my residence. Thence I go every spring and visit the other villages. I return again in the autumn and whenever I am summoned on sick calls. I am only sixty-one years old, but I am exhausted, broken by twenty-five years of mission work in this county and of these nearly twenty years of malady and disease show me the gates of death. I am incapable, therefore, of long application or bodily fatigue. I cannot accordingly supply the spiritual necessities of the country, where even the stoutest men could not endure. It would need four priests. If you can give me only one, he should be appointed to Cahokia, and with the powers of vicar-general." In 1768 Fr. P. Gibault, Vicar General of Quebec, was sent to his aid and laboured with him until the formal occupation of Louisiana by the Spaniards.
Father Gibault continued his visits until the coming of the Capuchin Fathers from New Orleans in 1772, and Father Meurin remained on the east side of the Mississippi River. Prior to Father Gibault's coming, there was no church building in this territory. The records at Cahokia show that at St. Louis Father Meurin in 1766 baptized, under condition, in a tent for want of a church, Marie, lawful daughter of John Baptiste Deschamp and of Marie Pion; and again, that he conferred the same sacrament upon Antoine, son of Lisette, a Pawnee slave, on 9 May of the same. year, Father Gibault, soon after his arrival, undertook the erection of a small church built of upright logs. This modest edifice was rapidly completed and dedicated on 24 June, 1770. With the advent of the Capuchins in 1772, Father Valentine of that order became the flat resident priest of St. Louis and remained until 1776. He was succeeded by Father Bernard, also a Capuchin, who remained for thirteen years and during his stay organized St. Charles and St. Ferdinand. From 1789 to 1793 there are no records to show that St. Louis had a resident priest. In 1793 Pierre Joseph Didier, a Benedictine monk, assumed charge and remained until 1799. In 1800 the territory of Louisiana was receded to France and three years later transferred by Napoleon to the United States. Thus we find that St. Louis and the Louisian territory during its early days was subject to the jurisdiction of: the Vicariate Apostolic of Canada, 1658-1674; the Diocese of Quebec, 1674-1759; the Diocese of Santiago in Cuba, 1759-1787; the Diocese of Havana, 1787-11793; the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, 1793-1826. The territory east of the Mississippi was subject to: the Vicariate Apostolic of Canada, 1658-1674; the Diocese of Quebec, 1674-1784; the Prefecture Apostolic of the thirteen states of the Union, 1784-1789; the Bishop of Baltimore, 1789-1808; the Diocese of Bardstown, 1808-1834.
In 1800 Rev. Thomas Flynn was made parish priest of St. Louis, remaining in that position until 1808 when he removed to Ste Geneviève. Again from 1808 until 1811, when Father Savigne took charge, we find the parish without the service of a priest. Father Savigne's ministry extended over a period of six years, and during these years the city grew to such an extent as to require the labours of a priest who could devote to it his entire time and attention. In 1810 the population numbered 1400 — mostly French with some Spaniards and a constantly increasing influx of Americans. Thus far St. Louis had been but a struggling village, the surrounding country but a wilderness that re-echoed to the warwhoop of the savage or resounded with the crack of the ranger's rifle. Now things were to assume a more important aspect, so that five years later we hear of the Diocese of St. Louis. St. Louis as a diocese had its origin amidst the early ecclesiastical troubles and disputes of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas. The Diocese of St. Christopher of Havana, Louisiana, and the Floridas was erected in 1787, and Rt. Rev. Joseph de Trespalatios was appointed the first bishop; thus St. Louis was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Havana. On 25 April, 1793, the Diocese of Louisiana and both Floridas was created; New Orleans was designated as the cathedral city, and the Rev. Louis Peñalver y Cardenas was appointed the first bishop. He arrived at New Orleans on 17 July, 1795. On 24 Sept., 1815, Rt. Rev. Louis William Du Bourg was consecrated Bishop of Louisiana and the Floridas, and immediately after proposed the erection of the See of St. Louis then in Upper Louisiana (sometimes called Louisiana Superior, sometimes "Alta Louisiana"). Very soon after, however, he requested the withdrawal of this proposal owing to the serious and complicated troubles caused by the trustees (Marguilliers and three misguided priests of the cathedral church in New Orleans).
Open menaces of violence and other serious threats prompted him to solicit the Propaganda to permit him to take up his residence at St. Louis and to continue St. Louis as part of the Louisiana jurisdiction. Rome granted the request, and on 5 Jan., 1818, he came to St. Louis accompanied by Bishop Flaget, of Bardstown, Ky. He was received here with Mat welcome, was installed with the usual solemnities by Bishop Flaget, and took possession of the pro-cathedral, a poor wooden structure in ruinous condition. The same year he founded at St. Louis a Latin Academy which later developed into the University of St. Louis. On 13 Aug., 1822, the Very Rev. Joseph Rosati, vicar-general for Bishop Du Bourg, was appointed by Pius VII titular Bishop of Tenagre, and created Vicar Apostolic of the territories of Mississippi and Alabama. This appointment Father Rosati declined, giving to the Propaganda as reasons the paucity and penury of the people of Mississippi and Alabama; the utter impossibility of a priest being able to sustain himself at Natchez; Bay St. Louis being too poor to erect even an unpretentious church building, and no other city in the two states being sufficiently well-equipped with church or resources worthy of a bishop. He also emphasized the importance of his continuing as president of the seminary, as no priest was at hand equal to the task of assuming its direction. His arguments and the protests of the Bishop of Baltimore prevailed. The Brief "Quum superiori anno" dated 14 July, 1823, addressed to Bishop Du Bourg, revoked the appointment and suppressed the vicariate. Father Rosati, however, was not to escape episcopal honours. He was appointed coadjutor to Bishop Du Bourg by Apostolic Brief dated 22 June, 1823, and by instructions of said Brief was to reside in St. Louis. The Brief recited that after three years the Diocese of Louisiana was to be divided, New Orleans and St. Louis to be named episcopal sees, Bishop Du Bourg to have his choice of either, and Bishop Rosati preside over the destinies of the other. Father Rosati received these documents on 4 Dec., 1823, and letters from the Propaganda told him that he must submit to the dignity he had thus far sought to escape. Bishop Du Bourg was then in Louisiana, and selected for the consecration services the Church of the Ascension in Donaldsonville, La., a central position, where many clergy might assemble. Here the Very Rev. Father Rosati was consecrated titular Bishop of Tenagre on 25 March, 1824, by Bishop Louis-Guillaume-Vatentin Du Bourg, assisted by the Very Rev. Louis Sibourd, V.G., and the Rev. Anthony de Sedella, O.M. Cap., rector of the cathedral church of New Orleans.
Not long after, Bishop Du Bourg found the task imposed upon him beyond his strength, and, discouraged by the difficulties which arose to thwart his projects and harassed by bitter opposition in his own city (which in some of his writings he styled "vera nova Babylonia"), he resigned his see and departed for Europe in April, 1826. Pending this the Propaganda had, on 26 June, 1826, voted the erection of S. Louis as a diocese, which action was approved of by the pope on 2 July, of the same year. On the same day the resignation of Bishop Du Bourg was formally accepted, and letters were forwarded to Bishop Rosati, asking him to accept the vacant see. This he earnestly requested to be allowed to decline, pleading his lack of acquaintance with the clergy and people of Louisiana and his familiarity with the districts of Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. He urged the appointment of Rev. Leo de Neekere, a Belgian Lazarist, as Bishop of New Orleans, and sought the intervention of Bishop Du Bourg to have this effected. His objection was sustained, and finally on 20 March, 1827, Pope Leo XII transferred him from the See of Tenagre to that of St. Louis, and requested him to continue the administration of New Orleans until such time as other provision might be made.
At this period the Diocese of Louisiana comprised, roughly speaking, the territory extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Dominion of Canada and from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. Owing to the existing indefinite lines of demarcation it was at times difficult and even impossible to decide with certainty the exact confines of the diocese. The uncertainty of jurisdiction, which necessarily arose from this, influenced Rome to advise all bishops in the United States and Canada to constitute their neighbouring bishops their vicars-general; so in the archives of the diocese we find documents appointing Bishop Rosati vicar-general to the Bishops of Quebec, Bardstown, St. Boniface, New Orleans, Cincinnati and Dubuque. The State of Illinois was part of the Diocese 1808, yet Bishop Flaget in exercising his episcopal functions along the Mississippi in the State of Illinois ministered to the wants of Catholics on the western side of the river, and so also Bishop Du Bourg, when residing at St. Louis, gave his attention to the faithful in Illinois, and in this Bishop Rosati also followed the example set. However, in the year 1832, Bishop Rosati wrote to Rome that as the western half of Illinois had hitherto been cared for by the ordinary of St. Louis it would prove more expedient to attach it to the See of St. Louis not only de facto but also de jure. Pursuant to this suggestion Rome, when erecting the See of Vincennes, in the year 1834, divided the State of Illinois and attached the western half to St. Louis and the eastern half to Vincennes; thus it remained until the year 1844 when the Diocese of Chicago was established.
The Diocese of St. Louis at the time of its erection, as is found in Bishop Rosati's report to the Propaganda, dated 1 Nov., 1825, comprised the northern portion of the so-called "Louisiana Purchase" including Arkansas. In Missouri Bishop Rosati mentions the city, St. Louis, where there was but a single priest, and, as he says, need of at least two more. Here the church begun by Bishop Du Bourg was still unfinished. Financial depression having driven away some and prevented others from paying their subscriptions, suit was entered for payment of the church debt and permission asked of the State to sell the bishop's house and other church properties to meet the obligation. Thus the conditions prevalent were by no means encouraging; finally, in 1822, part of the church property was sold, including the parochial residence, as also a building in course of construction for an academy. The purchaser gave Bishop Rosati a time in which to redeem it, and to secure necessary means he sent to Europe Rev. Francis Neill, in the hope that generous Catholics there would aid him in saving the property. In his report to Rome, Bishop Rosati (besides St. Louis, which he styled the most important city of the State and one of great possibilities) mentions the following others: Carondelet, or Vide Poche, with a hundred very poor families of French origin; Florissant, cared for by Father Van Quickenbom S.J., who was in charge of five scholastics, and at the same time directed a school for Indian boys; St. Charles, Portage des Sioux, Dardenne (now St. Peter's); Côte sans Desain, a French village distant about ninety miles from St. Louis; La Mine di Plumb (Old Mines, with about 200 French families; St. Michael's (Fredericktown); Ste Geneviéve with resident priest; the Barrens (French Bois Brulé, Latin Sylva Cremata), consisting then of about 200 families attended by one of the Fathers of St. Mary's Seminary, with 16 students of theology in attendance. Here too was located the Loretto Convent with 17 sisters and some postulants; though struggling with difficulties and lack of funds the sisters maintained a free school and cared for 24 orphans. The last Louisiana town mentioned in the report was New Madrid, with 80 French families. In Illinois Bishop Rosati notes Kaskaskia with 150 families, and Prairie du Rocher, with church and resident priest, the Rev. Father Olivier, aged seventy-five years, who was almost blind and unable to render any services to the parish. "I have offered him a room in the seminary", writes the bishop, "he is a saint who has spent, himself for many years in the service of Catholics about these parts."
Aside from this report we find, in other documents extant, mention made of Ap Creek (1816); Cape Girardeau (1816); Potosi (1816); Mine La Motte (1816); Harrisonville (1818); Osage Indian Nation Missions in Kansas (1822) with Rev. Ch. de La Croix as pastor. In 1818 Rev. Michael Portier was resident at Brazeau, Mo., and in 1822 Rev. Hercules Brassock at Drury, Ill., but as no mention of these names is found before or after this time we can only conclude that these fathers were residing with English-speaking families with the purpose probably of learning English. The report of Bishop Rosati was dated 1825, the diocese was established in 1826; yet the parishes and missions remain the same in 1826 as in 1825 and so continue until 1831. In 1827 we count 1 bishop, 4 secular priests, 8 Lazarist fathers, 8 Jesuit fathers; a total of 20 priests. In 1831 there were 11 churches with and 8 churches without resident priests; 20 missions; 1 bishop; 16 secular priests; 8 Lazarist Fathers; 11 Jesuits; a total of 35 priests. The Catholic population numbered 8000. It should be noted that on 20 Aug., 1818, Ladies of the Society of the Sacred Heart, including Madame Philippina Duchesne, Superior, Octavia Berthold, and Eugenia Audet, with two lay sisters arrived in St. Louis and soon after located at St. Charles, Mo. In October of the same year the Lazarist Fathers came from Bardstown, Ky., and settled permanently at the Barrens. On 31 May, 1823, two Jesuits, Fathers Charles van Quickenborn and Peter Timmermans, with seven scholastics and three lay brothers, arrived, and soon after located in Florissant, Mo., while on the same day of the same year twelve Sisters of Loretto took up their permanent residence at the Barrens in Perry County. On 25 November, 1829, four Sisters of Charity arrived at St. Louis from Emmitsburg Maryland, and began their labours in conducting a Hospital, to found which Mr. John Mullanphy had given houses and lots and other properties: On 30 May of the same year Bishop Rosati approved of the foundation of the Visitation Nuns at Kaskaskia, Ill.; these later, in 1844, settled at St. Louis, being compelled to leave Kaskaskia because of the great flood of that year. On 5 March, 1836, Rev. James Fontbonne arrived at St. Louis with seven Sisters of St. Joseph from the Diocese of Lyóns, France. Four Ursuline Nuns arrived on 4 Sept., 1848. The Rev. Joseph Paquin was the first priest to own Missouri as his native state. He was born at New Madrid, 4 Dec., 1799. The first bishop to be consecrated in the Cathedral of St. Louis by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Rosati was the Rt. Rev. Michael Portier, titular Bishop of Oliensis an Vicar Apostolic of Alabama and the two Floridas, the consecration taking place 5 Nov., 1826.
Born at Sora in the Kingdom of Naples on 12 Jan., 1789, he resolved even in his early days to consecrate his life to the service of God. In his youth be entered the novitiate of the Fathers of the Congregation of the Mission at Rome, was there professed, and ordained a priest. No record of his ordination is extant, due, no doubt, to the fact that Napoleon at the time held sway in the Eternal City and he commanded the expulsion and suppression of the Lazarist Fathers. It is evident, however, that it must have been either in 1811 or 1812, as documents show that on 19 Nov., 1812, the usual sacerdotal faculties were given him by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome. His first charge was as assistant to the Rev. Felix de Andreis, C.M. This we find him occupying when in the year 1815 Bishop Du Bourg was consecrated in Rome. A few days after his consecration Bishop Du Bourg arranged with the cardinal prefect to have a colony of Lazarist Fathers go to America to found a seminary and take up missionary work in his new diocese. Rev. Felix de Andreis was appointed superior of this band, and he selected as his associate the Rev. Joseph Rosati and the Rev. John B. Aquaroni. They, together with four lay brothers and two secular priests, the Revs. Joseph Carreti and Andrew Ferrari, and also four ecclesiastical students, on 18 Oct., 1815, departed from Rome for their future field of labour. Bishop Du Bourg, detained at Rome on important and serious business, could not accompany them. He, therefore, before their departure, appointed Father de Andreis his vicar-general and Father Rosati director of the seminarians, noting in the appointment of the latter that, should Rev. de Andreis die, Father Rosati was to succeed him as vicar-general.
On 7 Jan., 1816, the colonists arrived at Bordeaux, took up their residence in the archiepiscopal palace and remained there several months, applying themselves to the study of the French and English languages. Finally, 12 June, 1816, they embarked at Bordeaux for Baltimore and landed there 27 July, 1816; thence they proceeded by stage to Pittsburg, and here were delayed several weeks because low water in the Ohio River, finally arriving at Bardstown during October of 1817. Bishop Flaget received them most cordially and with every mark of affection, and placed at their disposal part of his seminary. Here they remained studying English under the tutorship of Bishop David, then coadjutor to Bishop Flaget. Father Rosati in a very short time had advanced sufficiently to be able to preach and hear confessions in the English language, and aside from his occupation as professor of philosophy and theology in the seminary, devoted himself to parochial work. When in June 1817, word was received that Bishop Du Bourg had sailed from Bordeaux and would arrive at Annapolis about 14 September on his way to St. Louis, Bishop Flaget and Fathers de Andreis and Rosati, with one lay brother, set out on horseback from Bardstown, Ky., to St. Louis, a distance of over three hundred miles, there to arrange a reception for the bishop. After the installation of Bishop Du Bourg at St. Louis, Bishop Flaget and Father Rosati returned to Bardstown, leaving Father de Andreis and Brother Blanca at Ste Geneviève, Mo. Father Rosati remained at Bardstown as rector of the seminary until October, 1818, when by order of Bishop Du Bourg the seminary was transferred to the Barrens, Perry County, Mo. Father Rosati was its first president and also pastor of the village church. On 15 Oct., 1820, the venerated de Andreis died and was succeeded by Father Rosati as superior of the Lazarist Fathers and as vicar-general of Bishop Du Bourg. Admirably did he accomplish the work devolving on him by virtue of his new appointment. Soon, without any conscious effort, he found himself surrounded by a body of enthusiastic and willing colabourers, and his ability and scholarship were soon manifest throughout the land.
In 1821 Bishop Du Bourg intended separating Mississippi and other territory from his diocese and pleaded for the appointment of Father Rosati as vicar Apostolic. This dignity of the latter's humility prompted him to decline, but later on Rome nominated him titular Bishop of Tenagre, and coadjutor to Bishop Du Bourg. He was enjoined under obedience to accept the nomination, and he remained in this office until the establishment of the Diocese of St. Louis, when he was placed in charge of its destinies and entrusted with the administration of the See of New Orleans. His worth as bishop can be gleaned from the results of his administration. Numerous religious orders were introduced, and during his time and partly by his efforts, the Jesuit Fathers established their novitiate at Florissant, Mo., and founded the western province of the order. In 1827 Bishop Rosati transferred to them the College at St. Louis which has since grown into the present University of St. Louis. The Religious of the Sacred Heart, the Visitation Nuns, and the Sisters of St. Joseph grew and developed by his advice and under his guidance. A home for the orphans, an institute for deaf-mutes and the St. Louis Mullanpby Hospital were made possible by his zeal and untiring efforts. In the year 1831 he began the building of the cathedral church, a beautiful, stately, and at the same time costly, structure, the cornerstone of which was solemnly blessed and laid by him on 1 Aug., 1831.
The solemn consecration of the cathedral took place on 26 Oct., 1834, Bishop Rosati himself being the consecrator, assisted by Bishops Flaget of Bardstown, Purcell of Cincinnati, and Bruté of Vincennes in presence of many priests and a great concourse of people. Here too, only two days later, he consecrated the venerated Bishop Bruté. Even today the cathedral stands, a monument of the faith and devotion of the Catholics of old St. Louis, the wonder and the admiration of all because of its purity of architecture and solidity of construction. In the midst of his distracting and arduous duties Bishop Rosati yet found time for study and literary work. As a writer he was clear and convincing and many of the ablest and most learned documents of the Four Provincial Councils of Baltimore are the results of his pen. He was a prudent, efficient administrator and an eloquent speaker, speaking equally well in Italian, French, and English. His audiences included men of every rank and station and so convincing were his words and so impressive his personality, that his converts during the year 1839 numbered 299. His confessional was always surrounded by penitents and in and out of the confessional he was accessible to all who sought his friendship or advice. He permitted himself to call no time his own, but at all hours was upon any person; thus be came to wield a might influence for good.
On 25 April, 1840 the Fourth Provincial Council of Baltimore and after its close departed for Rome, where he was most graciously received by Pope Gregory XVI. Appointed by the pope Apostolic Delegate to Hayti, he was commissioned to adjust the relationship between the Holy See and the Republic of Hayti; he accepted the appointment. In doing so, however he did not fail to note the danger of leaving his far extended and yet undeveloped diocese during so long a time without a leader; consequently he so advised the appointment of a coadjutor. This Rome agreed to and asked him to name his choice, he thereupon proposed the name of the Very Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, vicar-general to the Rt. Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick of Philadelphia; at the same time he drew attention to the fact that only a short time before he had petitioned Rome to appoint as his coadjutor the Very Rev. John Timon, C.M., and that Father Timon had declined the honour. Now, he argued, in order to prevent a recurrence, of the same nature it might be well to oblige Father Kenrick under obedience to accept the office. That Rome acted on the suggestion is clear from a letter of the Rt. Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick, dated Philadelphia, 4 June, 1841, addressed to Bishop Rosati in which we read: "the positive wishes of His Holiness have, I believe, secured my brother's full acquiescence". Before going to Hayti Bishop Rosati returned to the United States, and on 30 Nov., 1841, at the cathedral church at Philadelphia, he consecrated the Rt. Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick titular Bishop of Drass and coadjutor of the Diocese of St. Louis. Having arranged the affairs of his diocese, and informed himself as well as possible regarding matters at Hayti, he set sail from New York, 15 Jan., 1942, and landed at Port au Prince on the twenty-ninth day of the same month, where he was received with every mark of respect. Success crowned his efforts in so far as he was able to convince the president of the advisability of signing a Concordat which should be submitted to the Holy See for approval.
He left Hayti 22 February, 1842, landed at Brest, France, on Easter Sunday, and from there proceeded to Rome to report the result of his endeavours to the pope. The remainder of the year he spent in Europe. In the spring of 1843, the Concordat having been signed at Rome, he journeyed to Paris to arrange for his return trip to Hayti. It is of interest to note that on his trip to Paris he met and travelled with the papal nuncio to Brussels, the Most Rev. Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci, titular Archbishop of Damietta, afterwards the illustrious Leo XIII, and that the latter in 1881, in speaking of this meeting, said that never during his days had he met with a prelate so saintly (nessuno si santo) and so imbued with filial love and respect for the pope. When Bishop Rosati reached Paris his health, long before undermined by the privations and exposures of his missionary life in the Far West, gave way; he was stricken with an acute attack of lung trouble, which he had contracted during the previous month of February, and, acting on the advice of his physicians, he returned to Rome, where he died in the House of the Congregation of the Fathers of the Mission on 25 Sept., 1843. Coming to Missouri in the primeval days of its settlement, when it had scarcely a vestige of Catholicity, he left the diocese in a flourishing and prosperous condition. Preparatory to the first Diocesan Synod of St. Louis, convoked by him, and opened 21 April, 1839, he issued a call for a diocesan census, the result of which shows: a Catholic population of 31,503; 3 convents of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, with 42 sisters; 1 orphan asylum and hospital in charge of the Sisters of Charity (19 sisters); 4 convents of the Sisters of Loretto, with 30 sisters; 2 convents of the Sisters of St. Joseph, with 11 sisters; 1 convent of Visitation Nuns, with 19 sisters; 4 ecclesiastical seminaries, with 30 clerics; 3 colleges; 7 charitable institutions. In 1842 we find 39 churches with resident priests; 6 chapels; 36 churches without resident priests; 60 missions; 2 Bishops; 29 secular priests; 21 Lazarist Fathers; 28 Jesuits; a total of 80 priests. The Catholic population at this time is give as 100,000. Bishop Rosati died 25, Sept. 1843, and was succeeded by Peter Richard Kenrick.
Some lives there are that mark an epoch — lives which by virtue of their striking power or unique position, or both, stand apart and form landmarks in history. Such was the life of Peter Richard Kenrick, the Second Bishop and the first Archbishop of the Diocese of St. Louis.
On 20 July, 1847, St. Louis was raised to the rank of an archdiocese and Bishop Kenrick became its first archbishop. No suffragans, however, were assigned to him as at the time other archiepiscopal sees were under contemplation in the territory. On 25 May, 1850, he issued a call for the Second Diocesan Synod and on the twenty-fifth of the following August, 43 priests of the diocese assembled in council. This synod, which was the only one held during his life, passed regulations which obtained during his administration. He also presided at the two Provincial Councils convoked by him, the first 7 Sept., 1855, the second, 5 Sept., 1858; a third was called for May, 1861, but was postponed because of the impending Civil War. On 3 May, 1857, Archbishop Kenrick consecrated the Rt. Rev. James Duggan his coadjutor. One year later Bishop Duggan was transferred to the See of Chicago.
In the spring of 1872 Archbishop Kenrick secured the appointment of the Very Rev. Patrick J. Ryan as his second coadjutor. The consecration services were held in St. Louis and Father Ryan, on 14 February, 1872, was consecrated titular Bishop of Tricomia and coadjutor to the Archbishop of St. Louis with the right of succession. Bishop Ryan remained coadjutor until 8 June, 1884, when he was promoted to the Archiepiscopal See of Philadelphia. After the departure of Archbishop Ryan, Archbishop Kenrick resumed, unaided, the administration of his diocese. In 1893, because of age and infirmities incidental thereto, he found it impossible to continue alone the administration and Rome sent him as coadjutor with the right of succession, the Right Rev. John J. Kain, Bishop of Wheeling, W. Va. Three years later, on 3 March, 1896, Archbishop Kenrick died in the archiepiscopal residence at St. Louis. He was a man of great learning, of modest, unassuming manner, never too reserved and never too familiar, in fact a spiritual man, a man of great soul, to whom littleness and meanness were unknown. He seldom came forward except in defence of Catholic truth and of Catholic interests that were attacked, and then rather in writing than in public meetings. His main work lay hidden from the public eye; this work was to organize, consolidate, and expand his diocese; to foster the ecclesiastical spirit among his priests; to counsel wisely and prudently his brother bishops, his clergy and people of every rank and condition. For such work it was that he became so well-known and so highly esteemed, and that his name ranks so high in the history of the Church in America.
During the life of Archbishop Kenrick the expansion of the Church in the Diocese of St. Louis was unprecedented. Prior to 1843 there were but three churches in the City of St. Louis: the cathedral, SS. Mary's and Joseph's, and the Church of St. Francis Xavier, and only 39 throughout the entire diocese. At the time of his death we find 58 parish churches in the City of St. Louis and 108 outside the city a 26 chapel, and 97 mission churches, with a Catholic population of nearly 200,000. In 1849, he introduced the Christian Brothers; in 1862, the Franciscan Fathers; in 1866, the Redemptorist Fathers; in 1869, the Alexian Brothers; in 1884, the Passionist Fathers; in 1848, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; in 1849, the Ursuline Nuns; in 1856, the Sisters of Mercy; in 1858, the Notre Dame Sisters; in 1863, the Discalced Carmelites in 1869, the Little Sisters of the Poor; in 1872, the Sisters of St. Mary and the Sisters of St. Francis; in 1880, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, and in 1882, the Sisters of the Precious Blood. In 1843 he founded a monthly Catholic magazine, "The Catholic Cabinet and Chronicle of Religious Intelligence", in 1850 a weekly publication called "The Shepherd of the Valley", which was discontinued in 1854. To systematize works of charity he established in 1847 the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which organization grew and expanded and still continues its noble work in aiding the destitute and distressed. In 1892 "The Queen's Daughters" were organized, a society of ladies who devote their energies to forming sewing classes among the poorer people, teaching the scholars useful and beneficial arts, and providing clothing and other necessaries for the poor and deserving. Archbishop Kenrick furthermore organized the New Cathedral Board, the Catholic Orphan Board, the Calvary Cemetery Board, and the Diocesan Seminary Board, each of which he duly incorporated. He secured the property and building of the Visitation Nuns in the City of St. Louis for the new Kenrick Seminary and began the fund for the erection of a new cathedral. During his episcopate sixteen new sees were formed and established out of the original Diocese of St. Louis: Little Rock, 1843; Santa Fé and St. Paul, 1850; Leavenworth, 1851; Alton and Omaha, 1857; Green Bay, La Crosse, St. Joseph, and Denver, 1868; Kansas City, 1880; Davenport, 1881; Wichita, Concordia, Cheyenne, and Lincoln, 1887: At the time of his death in 1896 diocesan statistics show: city parishes, 61; parishes outside the City of St. Louis, 114; missions with churches, 94; stations, 40; chapels with attending chaplains, 27; archbishops, 2; diocesan priests, 229; regulars, 121; total priests, 350; Catholic population, 200,000.
He was born at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, W. Va., 21 31 March, 1841. After attending the Martinsburg Academy, he entered St. Charles College at Ellicott City, Md., where he finished his Classical studies. He made his theological studies at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, and was there ordained priest on 2 July, 1866. His first appointment was as pastor of Harper's Ferry, W. Va., and with it as a centre he ministered to the spiritual wants of the Catholics of eight counties. After nine years' pastorate, when only thirty-four years of age, he was selected by Rome to succeed Bishop Whelan of Bishop of Wheeling, W. Va. He was consecrated in the Cathedral of Wheeling 23 May, 1875. In 1893 Rome created him Archbishop of Oxyrynchia and coadjutor to Archbishop Kenrick, and on 31 Aug., of the same year, he came to St. Louis. He was appointed to the see of the Diocese of St. Louis, 21 May, 1895. During his administration he manifested the same strenuous and efficient efforts that had characterized his labours in his former diocese. During Sept, 1893, he opened the new Kenrick Seminary and in Sept., 1896 he presided over the Third Diocesan Synod. At this Synod he introduced into the diocese the Third Baltimore Council legislations, and redistricted and readjusted parish boundaries and regulated diocesan matters in general. He also began the reorganization of the parochial school system. In September, 1902 he held the Fourth Diocesan Synod in which diocese legislation was further perfected. Other notable works of this energetic prelate were the purchasing of the new cathedral site on Lindell Boulevard, the establishment of the new cathedral parish, the erecting of the new cathedral chapel and parochial residence, and the preliminary financing of the new cathedral project. In all his works he showed himself possessed of a great courage and determination, and accomplished for the diocese by his energy, labour and endurance that which his venerable predecessor had during his late years planned, but because of his great age failed to accomplish. Archbishop Kain was a man of great earnestness and prudence of his counsels as well as for the intensity of his convictions; an admirable exemplar of progressive conservatism and conservative progressiveness. He held a high place in the American hierarchy, as is evidenced from the fact of his being chosen from among the bishops of the country in 1884 as procurator of the Third Council of Baltimore, and that in 1895 he was selected to deliver the sermon in the cathedral at Baltimore on the occasion of the conferring of the cardinal's biretta on His Eminence Cardinal Satolli, the first Apostolic Delegate to America. In 1902 his health failed, and Rome sent him at his request as coadjutor, with right of succession, the Rt. Rev. John Joseph Glenon, D.D., titular Bishop of Pinara, and coadjutor Bishop of Kansas City. Mo. Archbishop Kain died at Baltimore, 13 Oct., 1903. At the time of his death the diocesan census showed: city churches, 68; churches outside the city with resident pastors, 124; missions 58; 1 archbishop; 1 bishop; 268 diocesan priests; and 174 regulars; total 442. Catholic population, 220,000.
He was born Kinnegad, Parish of Clonard, Co. Meath, Ireland. He completed his studies at All Hallows College, Ireland, came to America in 1883, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City in the cathedral of that city on 20 Dec., 1884. In 1893 he was appointed vicar-general of the diocese, and on 29 June, 1896, was consecrate titular Bishop of Pinara and coadjutor to Bishop Hogan of Kansas City, Mo. He was transferred to St. Louis as coadjutor with the right of succession on 27 April, 1903, and succeeded to the See of St. Louis on 13 October of the same year. During the time of his administration the Archdiocese of St. Louis has advanced with rapid strides, both in temporal and spiritual matters. Many churches and institutions have been established and built, and Church legislation has been amplified and perfected by the Fifth and the Sixth Diocesan Synods called and presided over by him during the months of September of the years 1905 and 1908; also various charity organizations have been systematically perfected, and new ones founded to answer the needs of the poor, especially in congested districts. During his time we note the organization of the "Ephpheta Society" (1909), a society whose object is to care for the Catholic deaf-mute children of the poor and provide means for their education; the establishment of Father Dunne's Newsboys' Home in 1905; Father Dempsey's Hotel for Homeless Men in 1906; the introduction of the Helpers of the Holy Souls in 1903; the Brothers of Mary (Western Province College and novitiate in 1908); and the establishment of Catholic settlement schools, and day nurseries in 1910. To this prelate has been entrusted the task of giving to St. Louis what had been the dream of Kenrick and the ambition of Kain — a cathedral worthy of the name and prestige of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Soon after taking up Archbishop Kain's crosier, he set to work drafting plans and collecting funds for the erection of the cathedral, the corner-stone of which was laid on Sunday, 18 Oct., 1908, by the Most Rev. Apostolic Delegate Diomede Falconio, D.D., titular Archbishop of Larissa. On this occasion seventy-nine city parishes participated in the grand parade, making the largest demonstration ever seen in the city; it was also of extraordinary character in the nationalities represented.
The exterior of the cathedral is an original conception, Byzantine in sentiment, developed in a beautiful gray granite which lends itself happily to majestic piling, and is simple but romantic in expression. The openings are treated in receding colonnades, architraves, and archivolts, with profuse and elaborate carved and sculptured decorations, each motif being from a special design, original in character. The great central dome, forming the main central feature and rearing its cross 247 feet above the terrace, the main façade with its imposing gable and deep receding central rose-window, and three great main entrances below, flanked on either side with imposing isolated towers giving great breadth to the façade, present a front of great dignity and charm. The sides, with many gabled entrances, one-story chapels and great clerestory windows, the suppressed towers at the angle of the dome and central transepts form a beautiful combination, giving fine light-and-shadow effects. The building is roofed with a sea-green glazed tile; the typana of all the arches, illuminated with mosaics in subdued colours, impart warmth and interest to the whole. The building has great bronze doors with sculptured panels depicting Biblical subjects. The interior is of a purely Byzantine type, an original composition in colours never before attempted in this type of church architecture. The general plan consists of two minor domes, a large central dome, and a nave, with transepts and apse, surrounded with spacious ambulatories, through which the circuit of the church may be made without crossing the more sacred parts of the building. There are spacious chapels with groined and vaulted ceilings to the right and left of the sanctuary; these are dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin. Other chapels of equal importance are on either side of the front minor dome, while, two transepts form chapels dedicated to St. Louis and St. George. In the ambulatory circling these transepts are Stations of the Cross in bronze. The colonnades are of rare imported coloured marbles, the caps and bases of which are finished in gold with shadowed blues and reds. The ceilings, spandrels and arch balustrade are decorated with highly illuminated glass mosaics, of varied interlacing geometric patterns and religious emblems. The interior presents an ever-changing, vista of design and colour when observed from different points of view.
The statistics of the diocese (1911) are as follows: archbishop, 1; diocesan priests, 314; regular clergy, 214; Jesuits, 83; Passionists, 12; Redemptorists, 40; Franciscans, 32; Lazarists, 42; Servite Fathers, 2; Brothers of Mary, 3; total priests, 528; churches in city, 83; churches outside city with resident priests, 151); total, 242; churches without resident priests, 98; total churches, 340; stations, 66; chapels, 120; seminary for diocesan clergy, 1; students,ú seminaries of religious orders, 7; students, 900; colleges and academies for boys, 8; students, 2500; academies for young ladies, 22; other institutions of higher education for females, 15; females educated in higher branches, 5000; parishes with parochial schools in the city, 69; number of pupils in city, 20,936; parochial schools outside of city, 110; pupils, 9645; total schools, 179; total pupils, 30,581; newsboys' home, 1; hotel for working men, 1; orphan asylums, 7; orphans, 1500; House of the Good Shepherd, 1; children in preservation class,ú deaf-mute asylums, 2; pupils, 190; industrial schools, 3; pupils, 300; total number of young people under Catholic care, 40,321; hospitals and infirmaries, 16; patients during the year about 10,000; asylums, 4; homes for aged, 2; Catholic population, about 375,000.
The statistics of the diocese at the time of this writing, June, 1911, are as above quoted, but by "Brief of the Consistorial" dated Rome, 16 June, 1911, the northern portion of the diocese has been detached and affiliated to the Diocese of St. Joseph, Mo. This will necessitate a readjustment of the above figures which cannot just now be done with any degree of accuracy. The territory affected comprises 11 counties: Clark, Adair, Knox, Lewis, Mâcon, Shelby, Marion, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe, and Ralls. In the counties named there are numbered 15 parishes with 16 missions and 20 diocesan and 3 regular priests.
ROSATI, Relazione, letters to the Propaganda and Private Letters; IDEM, Diocesan Archives; SHEA, Hist. of the Catholic Church in the U.S., I (Akron, 1888), passim; THORNTON, Historical Sketch of the Church in St. Louis; WALSH, Jubilee Memoirs (St. Louis, 1891); Encycl. of the Hist. of St. Louis (St. Louis, 1899); Catholic Directory (Milwaukee).
APA citation. (1912). St. Louis (Missouri). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13357a.htm
MLA citation. "St. Louis (Missouri)." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13357a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Jeffrey L. Anderson.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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