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Denis Mary Bradley

First Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.A. (1846-1903)

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Bradley, DENIS MARY, first Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.A., b. February 25, 1846, at Castle-island, County Kerry, Ireland; d. at Manchester, December 13, 1903. Shortly after his father’s death his mother, with a family of five, emigrated to the United States and settled at Manchester. He was then eight years old. After attending the local schools, he was sent to Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1863, and closed his academic career there in June, 1867. He was then enrolled as an ecclesiastical student at St. Joseph‘s Seminary, Troy, New York, where he was ordained priest June 3, 1871. Shortly after this he was located at Portland, Maine, under Bishop Bacon, and subsequently under Bishop Healy, by whom he was appointed rector of the cathedral and chancellor of the diocese. In June, 1881, he was made pastor of St. Joseph‘s, Manchester, which became his cathedral when he was consecrated first Bishop of the new See of Manchester, June 11, 1884. He had the honor of being the first alumnus of St. Joseph‘s Seminary of Troy, New York, to be raised to the episcopacy.

In the rural sections of New Hampshire there were many scattered Catholics who up to that time had had few facilities for practising their faith, and his first and earnest efforts were directed towards providing for them, and with the most gratifying results. He held the first synod of the diocese October 24, 1886, and under the energizing influence of his zeal and enthusiasm there was a general upbuilding of Catholicism throughout the State. The silver jubilee of his ordination was made the occasion of a striking demonstration of his great personal popularity, and this had another manifestation when every non-Catholic pulpit in Manchester bore sincere testimony to the loss his death had occasioned to the city and to the State.

THOMAS F. MEEHAN


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