Scottish bishop ; b. at Montreal, Canada, 7 April, 1802; d. at Edinburgh, 24 February 1864. He was the only son of a native of Banffshire, who had emigrated to Canada and married there Educated in the Sulpician college at Montreal, where he acquired a perfect knowledge of French, he came to Scotland in 1816, and next year entered the seminary at Aquhorties, studying afterwards at St Nicholas's College in Paris, and at Issy. He was ordained priest on 9 June, 1827, and was stationed at Edinburgh, where he was preaching soon attracted attention. He visited France in 1829 to collect money for his church, and in 1831 to raise funds for the foundation of an Ursuline convent --the first religious house established in Scotland since the sixteenth century--which was opened in 1835.
In July, 1838, he was consecrated at Edinburgh as Bishop of Limyra and Coadjutor of the Eastern District. A subsequent visit to Paris, where he was much esteemed, resulted in the acquisition of what remained of the library of the Scotch College, and in the promise of an annual grant to Scotland from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith . In 1852 Bishop Gillis succeeded Bishop Carruthers as Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District. During his twelve years tenure of this office he did much for the advancement of Catholicism, founding many new missions, introducing several religious orders (including Jesuits, Oblates of Mary, and Sisters of Mary) into his district, and receiving into the Church many converts, among them Viscount and Viscountess Feilding, afterwards Earl and Countess of Denbigh. In 1857 he preached in Orléans cathedral an eloquent panegyric, in French, of Joan of Arc (published in London in the same year), receiving in return from the Mayor of Orléans the heart of King Henry II of England, who had died at Chinon, on the Loire, in 1189. Bishop Gillis was buried in St. Margaret's convent, his own foundation, on 26 February, 1864. The nuns of St. Margaret's are in possession of his library.
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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy 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