Daniel Francis Desmond

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For the Irish politician, see Dan Desmond.

Daniel Francis Desmond (April 4, 1884—September 11, 1945) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Alexandria in Louisiana from 1933 until his death in 1945.


Daniel Desmond was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to Daniel and Catherine (née Lynch) Desmond.[1] His father was a shoemaker from Bandon, County Cork.[2] After graduating from St. James High School at Haverhill in 1900, he studied at Holy Cross College in Worcester, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1906.[1] He completed his theological studies at St. John Seminary in Brighton.[1]

He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph Gaudentius Anderson on June 9, 1911.[3] He then served as a curate at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Beachmont until 1912, when he was transferred to St. Joseph Church in Medford.[1] During World War I, he was a chaplain in the United States Army (with the rank of First Lieutenant) from 1918 to 1919.[1] Returning from service, he became a curate at St. Clement Church in Somerville and was later named director of Catholic Charities (1926).[1]

On December 16, 1932, Desmond was appointed the fifth Bishop of Alexandria in Louisiana by Pope Pius XI.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on January 5, 1933 from Bishop John Bertram Peterson, with Bishops Joseph Edward McCarthy and Francis Spellman serving as co-consecrators, at Holy Cross Cathedral.[3] He established 10 new schools, 22 parishes, and 35 churches. After twelve years as bishop, he died from a heart attack while visiting family in Massachusetts, aged 61.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ O'Malley, Patricia Trainor (1992). The Irish in Haverhill, Massachusetts II. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Daniel Francis Desmond". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  4. ^ "Bishop Daniel Desmond, Head of Alexandria, La., Diocese Dies on Visit to Relatives". The New York Times. 1945-09-12. 
Preceded by
Cornelius Van de Ven
Bishop of Alexandria in Louisiana
Succeeded by
Charles Pasquale Greco