John F. Noll

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John Francis Noll (January 25, 1875 – July 31, 1956) was bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne, Indiana from 1925 until his death in 1956. He was a native of Fort Wayne, and one of nineteen children. John Noll attended St. Lawrence Seminary in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin from 1888 to 1893. He was ordained a priest in 1898. Father Noll was the Father of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntington, Indiana. His life was notable for four main reasons; he was the founder of the newspaper Our Sunday Visitor; Pope Pius XII elevated him to archbishop in 1953, despite the fact that he never headed an archdiocese; he was instrumental in generating support for construction of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C.; as a young priest, he sometimes confronted people who claimed to expose evil practices within the Catholic Church. He would ask the alleged former priest or nun to which order he or she belonged, and to recite specific prayers, some questions were posed in Latin. In this way he exposed the speakers as simple anti-Catholic rabble rousers.

Noll wrote a best-selling book of catechesis, Father Smith Instructs Jackson, which is still in print.[1]

Sister Maria Stanisia painted a portrait of Noll and the Bishop Noll Institute is named in his honor.


  1. ^ Noll, John Francis. Father Smith Instructs Jackson: Centennial Edition. Our Sunday Visitor, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59276-445-7
  • Stromberg, J. 2006. The Story of Archbishop John Noll, Founder of "Our Sunday Visitor". Catholic Parent, July/August 2006, pp. 18-22.