James Louis Connolly

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James Louis Connolly (November 15, 1894 – September 12, 1986) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Fall River from 1951 to 1970.

Biography[edit]

James Connolly was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, to Francis and Agnes (née McBride) Connolly.[1] After graduating from B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River, he studied at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland, and at the Sulpician Seminary in Washington, D.C.[1] He was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1923.[2] He then served as a curate at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Wellfleet until 1924, when he was sent to further his studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.[3] He earned a doctorate in historical science summa cum laude in 1928 and then returned to the United States, where he was assigned to the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota.[1] He there served as a professor and afterwards rector of St. Paul Seminary.[4]

On April 7, 1945, Connolly was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Fall River and Titular Bishop of Mylasa by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 24 from Archbishop John Murray, with Bishops William O. Brady and Leo Binz serving as co-consecrators.[2] In addition to his episcopal duties, he served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church from 1945 to 1951.[1] Upon the death of Bishop James Edwin Cassidy, Connolly succeeded him as the fourth Bishop of Fall River on May 17, 1951.[2]

During his tenure, he oversaw a major program of building and expansion within the diocese. He erected 15 new parishes, 17 schools, and 33 churches.[1] He also established Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth, Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Bishop Cassidy High School in Taunton, and Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River.[4] He encouraged vocations, ordaining a total of 230 priests (130 for the diocese and 100 for religious communities) during his administration.[1] He founded the diocesan newspaper, The Anchor, in 1957.[4] He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965.[4]

After 19 years as bishop of Fall River, Connolly retired on October 30, 1970; he was appointed Titular Bishop of Thibuzabetum on the same date.[2] He later resigned his titular see on the following December 31.[2] He died at St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River, aged 91.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "RETIRED BISHOP JAMES L. CONNOLLY, AT 91; HEADED FALL RIVER DIOCESE FOR 2 DECADES". The Boston Globe. 1986-09-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop James Louis Connolly". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  3. ^ Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Our History". Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
James Edwin Cassidy
Bishop of Fall River
1951 – 1970
Succeeded by
Daniel Anthony Cronin