|The Most Reverend
Francis Patrick Kenrick
|Archbishop of Baltimore|
|Installed||9 October 1851|
|Term ended||8 July 1863|
|Predecessor||Samuel Eccleston, S.S.|
|Successor||Martin John Spalding|
|Other posts||Bishop of Philadelphia (1842-51)|
|Ordination||7 April 1821
by Archbishop Candido Maria Frattini
|Consecration||10 June 1831|
3 December 1797|
|Died||8 July 1863
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
Francis Patrick Kenrick (3 December 1796 – 8 July 1863) was an Irish-born clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the third Bishop of Philadelphia (1842–1851) and the sixth Archbishop of Baltimore (1851–1863).
Early life and education
Francis Kenrick was born in Dublin to Thomas and Jane (née Eustace) Kenrick. His younger brother, Peter Richard Kenrick, would later become the first Archbishop of St. Louis. His uncle was the pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Church in Dublin, and took an active role in his education. At the age of eighteen, he was selected to study at the Urban College of Propaganda in Rome, where he became a distinguished student. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Candido Maria Frattini on 7 April 1821.
Shortly after his ordination, Kenrick accepted an invitation from Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget, S.S., to join the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, in the United States. He then held the chair of theology at St. Thomas Seminary for nine years, in addition to teaching Greek and history at St. Joseph's College. Apart from his academic duties, he also engaged in missionary work; he facilitated several conversions and publicly debated with Protestant ministers. He earned a reputation as an eloquent preacher and effective apologist, and was a recognized theologian and scripture scholar.
Kenrick was later made private secretary to Flaget, whom he accompanied to the First Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1829 as his personal theologian. He also served as an assistant secretary of the Council.
On 25 February 1830, Kenrick was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Titular Bishop of Arath by Pope Pius VIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 6 June from Flaget, with Bishops Henry Conwell and John Baptist Mary David, S.S., serving as co-consecrators, in Bardstown. Kenrick assumed full administrative powers from the aged Bishop Conwell, whose tenure had been plagued by a public feud with a schismatic priest named William Hogan. Immediately upon his arrival, he also became engaged in the long-running dispute between episcopal authority and the lay trustees of St. Mary's Church. The trustees eventually conceded their struggle for power after Kenrick placed St. Mary's Cathedral under interdict. He also placed all church property in the name of the bishop instead of those of the trustees.
In 1832, Kenrick founded St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, which was originally located at his personal residence. That same year an outbreak of cholera took place in Philadelphia, and Kenrick led the local Catholic clergy and Religious Sisters in ministering to the sick; his efforts were publicly recognized by Mayor John Swift. He successfully petitioned the Holy See to separate Western Pennsylvania into a new diocese, and the Diocese of Pittsburgh was established in 1836; Kenrick was initially considered for the new diocese as well as for coadjutor bishop of New York, but withdrew his candidacy.
Kenrick succeeded Conwell as the third Bishop of Philadelphia upon the latter's death on 22 April 1842. His tenure was particularly marked by the 1844 Philadelphia Nativist Riots, a series of riots resulting from increasing anti-Catholic sentiment at the growing population of Irish Catholic immigrants. Throughout the violence, Kenrick encouraged Catholics "to follow peace and have charity." He also closed all Catholic churches and ordered the suspension of all Masses until the riots were brought to a halt by military force. Between 1830 to 1850, the number of churches in the diocese grew from 22 to 92; priests from 35 to 101; charitable institutions from two to six; and the Catholic population from 35,000 to 170,000. He also began construction on the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
Influenced by the work of his contemporary, an English priest named John Lingard, Kenrick published his own translation of the four Gospels in 1849; he eventually translated the entire Bible, as a new revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible.
Following the death of Archbishop Samuel Eccleston, S.S., Kenrick was named the sixth Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland, by Pope Pius IX on 19 August 1851. His installation took place on the following 9 October. He presided over the First Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1852. In 1854, he was invited by Pius IX to attend the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in Rome. In 1858, the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, with the approval of Pius IX, conferred a "prerogative of place" on the Archbishop of Baltimore over all archbishops and bishops in the United States, regardless of seniority in promotion or ordination.
- Parts of Francis Kenrick's Bible Translation
- Marschall, John P.,Francis Patrick Kenrick, 1851-1863: The Baltimore Years (Ph.D. diss., Catholic University of America, 1965)
- Spalding, Thomas W. The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 1789-1989. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989
- "Most Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.
- "Francis Patrick and Peter Richard Kenrick". Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Clarke, Richard Henry (1888). Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States. New York.
- "Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Philadelphia
April 22, 1842 – August 19, 1851
John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R.
Samuel Eccleston, S.S.
|Archbishop of Baltimore
August 19, 1851 – July 8, 1863
Martin John Spalding