Anthony O'Regan

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The Right Reverend
Anthony O'Regan
Bishop of Chicago
Bishop O'Regan.jpg
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Chicago
In office September 3, 1854 – June 25, 1858
Predecessor James Oliver Van de Velde, S.J.
Successor James Duggan
Orders
Ordination November 19, 1858
Consecration July 25, 1854
Personal details
Born (1809-07-27)July 27, 1809
Lavalleyroe, County Mayo, Ireland
Died November 13, 1866(1866-11-13) (aged 57)
London, England
Alma mater Maynooth College

Anthony O'Regan (July 27, 1809 – November 13, 1866) was an Irish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Chicago in the United States from 1854 to 1858.

Biography[edit]

Anthony O'Regan was born in Lavalleyroe, County Mayo, and studied at Maynooth College.[1] Following his ordination to the priesthood on November 29, 1834,[2] he was appointed by Archbishop John MacHale to be professor of Scripture, Hebrew and dogmatic theology at St. Jarlath's College, where he later served as President from 1844 to 1849.[1] He accepted an invitation from Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick in 1849 to head the newly established theological seminary at Cardondelet, on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States.[1]

On December 9, 1853, O'Regan was appointed the third Bishop of Chicago, Illinois, by Pope Pius IX.[2] He initially refused the appointment, feeling that his quiet scholarly background made him unsuitable for such an office, but accepted after the Holy See sent him a mandate in June 1854.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on July 25, 1854 from Archbishop Kenrick, with Bishops James Oliver Van de Velde, S.J., and John Henni serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of St. Louis.[2] After a severe spell of nervous debility,[4] he finally reached Chicago and was solemnly installed as Bishop on the following September 3.[2] He soon began construction on a new episcopal residence, completed in 1856 but later destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.[3]

During his tenure, O'Regan established the Jesuits and the Redemptorists, and purchased property for several churches and Calvary Cemetery.[3] A systematic administrator and strong disciplinarian, however, he excited much dissatisfaction among his clergy.[4] He was also accused of discriminating against his French-speaking congregations.[3][5] Distressed by the frequent opposition his administration met, he submitted his resignation in 1857; the Holy See accepted on June 25, 1858, and named him Titular Bishop of Dora.[2]

O'Regan retired to London, England, where he befriended the likes of Nicholas Wiseman and Henry Edward Manning, and later died from liver disease at age 57.[3] His funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop MacHale at Tuam Cathedral, and his remains were buried in Cloonfad.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Archdiocese of Chicago". Catholic Encyclopedia. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Anthony O'Regan". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Clarke, Richard Henry. Lives of the deceased bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States. 
  4. ^ a b Garraghan, Gilbert Joseph. The Catholic Church in Chicago, 1673–1871. 
  5. ^ "Founding Fathers". Hidden Truths: Catholic Cemetery.