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John Connolly

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Second Bishop of New York, U.S.A. b. at Slane, Co. Meath, Ireland, 1750; d. New York, 6 February, 1825. He joined the Dominican Order in early youth and was sent to Rome, where, after ordination to the priesthood, he became professor at St. Clement's, theologian of the Minerva, agent of the Irish Bishops, and Prior of St. Clement's. Both Pius VI and Pius VII held him in high esteem. By his influence he saved the Irish, Scotch, and English colleges and his own convent, church, and library from being plundered by the French invaders. He was nominated Bishop of New York as successor to Bishop Concanen, who had desired his appointment in the first instance. He was consecrated in Rome, 6 November, 1814, but did not reach New York until 24 November, 1815. Despite advanced years and untoward circumstances, he did the fruitful work of both bishop and missionary almost to the day of his death. The diocese then included all New York and part of New Jersey, for which there were only four priests. He built several churches, founded an orphan asylum, and introduced the Sisters of Charity. Actively interested in religious progress throughout the country, he advocated the idea of a diocese in every state as the best means of promoting the cause of the Church.

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