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Bernard John McQuaid

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The first Bishop of Rochester, U. S. A.; born in New York City, 15 December, 1823; died at Rochester, 18 January, 1909. His father, Bernard McQuaid, from Tyrone, Ireland, settled in Powel's Hook (now Jersey City), New Jersey . It was in the McQuaid home that Mass was first said in Powel's Hook, by Father John Conron, on the first Sunday in Advent, November, 1829. After his college course at Chambly, Quebec, young McQuaid entered St. John's Seminary, at Fordham, and was ordained in old St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, 16 January, 1848. Most of the State of New Jersey was at that time included in the Diocese of New York, so Father McQuaid was sent as assistant to the pastor at Madison. When the Diocese of Newark was created in 1853, Bishop Bayley made Father McQuaid rector of his cathedral church, and later, in 1866, his vicar-general. With the bishop he founded Seton Hall College, and, without giving up his parochial charge or his diocesan office, was its president for ten years. He helped to establish the Madison, New Jersey, foundation of the Seton Sisters of Charity. When the Civil War broke out he was the first clergyman at Newark to espouse publicly the cause of the Union; he also volunteered as a chaplain and accompanied the New Jersey Brigade to the seat of war, during which service he was captured by the Confederates. On the creation of the Diocese of Rochester in 1868, Father McQuaid was appointed its first bishop and was consecrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, 12 July, 1868. He was installed in Rochester, on July 16. A man of strong character and untiring as a worker, he especially devoted himself to the cause of Catholic education. In Rochester within ten years he completely organized a splendid parochial school system, taught by nuns, and affiliated it with the State university. Two years after he took charge of the diocese he opened St. Andrew's Preparatory Seminary, the promising students of which he sent to the Roman and other famous European seminaries. Meantime he was constantly extending the parishes throughout the diocese ; founding new works of charity, or strengthening those already established; securing freedom of worship and their constitutional rights for the inmates of the state institutions, of which there are four in the diocese. The crowning event of his career was the opening, in 1893, of St. Bernard's Seminary, which he lived to see expanded to an institution patronized by students from twenty-six other dioceses, regarded by the whole country as a model of its kind. Bishop McQuaid attended the Vatican Council in 1870. In 1905 he asked for a coadjutor, and Bishop Thomas F. Hickey was consecrated, 24 May, 1905. (See ROCHESTER, DIOCESE OF.)

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