Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Fitzpatrick, John Bernard

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FITZPATRICK, John Bernard, R. C. bishop, b. in Boston, Mass., 1 Nov., 1812; d. there, 13 Feb., 1866. He studied in the Boston Latin-school in 1828-'9, and in the latter year was sent to Montreal college, where he was appointed professor of rhetoric and belles-lettres while still a pupil. He completed his course of study in Montreal in 1837, and then took a course in the Grand seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. He returned in 1839, and was ordained in 1840. His first mission was at the Boston cathedral. He was afterward appointed pastor of East Cambridge, where he succeeded in composing dissensions of long standing. He was nominated coadjutor bishop of Boston in 1844, and in 1846 succeeded Bishop Fenwick. His administration was signaled by many lamentable occurrences. In 1854 the Roman Catholic church of Dorchester was blown up by unknown persons, and the “Ellsworth outrage” took place, in which a priest was inhumanly treated by his fellow-citizens. He visited Rome in 1854, and on his return had a remarkable controversy with the Boston school board, which resulted in the repeal of rules that were obnoxious to the Roman Catholic pupils. The Roman Catholic population increased so rapidly under his administration that in 1853 two new dioceses were created out of that of Boston. When he entered on his episcopate there were forty priests and forty churches in his diocese; at its close there were three hundred priests and three hundred churches. He had also erected one of the finest orphan asylums in the country, a large reformatory, a hospital, a college, and had increased the number of religious communities and orders fivefold.