Joseph Clement Willging

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Joseph Clement Willging (September 6, 1884 – March 3, 1959) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the first Bishop of Pueblo (1942–1959).

Biography[edit]

Joseph Willging was born in Dubuque, Iowa, to Henry and Elizabeth (née Hanover) Willging.[1] After attending St. Mary's School (1891–1898) and Columbia College (1898–1905) in Dubuque, he studied at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, earning a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1908.[1] He was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1908.[2]

He then studied at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. for a year before becoming principal of St. Aloysius Institute in Helena, Montana, in 1909.[1] He was a professor at Carroll College from 1910 to 1914, and briefly returned to Catholic University (1912–1913).[1] He then served as chancellor of the Diocese of Helena until 1927, when he became pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Butte.[1] He was named a Papal Chamberlain (1921), and a Domestic Prelate and the vicar general of Helena in 1939.[1]

On December 6, 1941, Willging was appointed the first Bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado, by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on February 24, 1942 from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, with Archbishop Henry Rohlman and Bishop Joseph Michael Gilmore serving as co-consecrators.[2] During his 17-year-long tenure, he increased the number of parishes from 39 to 60, and the number of priests from 84 to 151.[3] He also encouraged the establishment of parochial schools and Catholic hospitals.[3]

Willging died from a heart attack, at age 74.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Joseph Clement Willging". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  3. ^ a b "Our Mission". Roman Catholic Diocese of Pueblo. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
none
Bishop of Pueblo
1942–1959
Succeeded by
Charles Albert Buswell