Bishop of Vancouver Island (today Victoria ), Apostle of Alaska. b. at Ghent, Belgium, 26 Dec., 1839; d. in Alaska, 28 Nov., 1886. Left an orphan at a very early date, he was brought up by his uncles. After having studied in local institutions and in the American Seminary at Louvain, he was ordained priest on 31 May, 1863. On 14 Sept. of the same year he left for Vancouver Island, where for the space of ten years he was engaged in valuable missionary labours among the pioneer whites and the natives. On 23 March, 1873, he was appointed to succeed Bishop Demers. One of the first cares of the new prelate was to visit the territory of Alaska, after which he turned his attention towards the west coast of Vancouver Island, where he established missions for the Indians. In 1877 he again repaired to Alaska, and evangelized in succession St. Michael's, Nulato, Ulukuk, Kaltag, Nuklukayet, and various other points along the Yukon. He did not return to Victoria before 20 Sept., 1878. He was then named coadjutor to the Archbishop of Oregon City, whom he succeeded 12 Dec., 1880. After meritorious apostolic labours in his new field of action, as no titular could be found for his old diocese of Victoria, he generously volunteered to return thither, with a view to following up his work in Alaska. This act of disinterestedness deeply touched Leo XIII , and on 2 April, 1885, Archbishop Seghers again took possession of his former see. Whites and Indians then received the benefit of his ministrations, and two missions were founded (1885) in Alaska, one at Sitka, the other at Juneau. But in the course of his fifth expedition to that distant land, he was heartlessly murdered by a white companion named Fuller, whose mind had become more or less unbalanced under the stress of the hardships of the journey and the evil counsels of an American who foresaw in the coming of the two Jesuit priests the archbishop had brought with him an implied reproach. The remains of the bishop were ultimately transferred to Victoria.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online